July 12, 2018 / 7:44 AM / 4 months ago

South Africa's rand firmer ahead of mining, manufacturing data

South African Rand coins are seen in this photo illustration taken September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand gained on Thursday, reversing the previous session’s slide, as some traders picked up the currency at the current level, assuming the trade conflict between the United States and China would lead to another spell of risk aversion.

At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.44 percent firmer at 13.4875 per dollar, having touched a low of 13.5100 overnight as a fresh wave of risk aversion rocked emerging markets after President Donald Trump announced plans for additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Investors had avoided big positions for most of the week, and the rand traded mainly on technical factors with 13.50 and 13.20 the key entry and exit points.

Mining and manufacturing figures due out later are expected to show a lacklustre economic recovery in the second quarter after a contraction in the first, prompting some short positioning in preparation of a test near the 13.60 mark.

Bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 up 2.5 basis points to 8.75 percent.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top40 index opened 0.2 percent higher at 51,150 points.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, editing by Larry King

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