October 10, 2019 / 7:57 AM / 11 days ago

South African rand stronger as dollar dips

South African bank notes featuring images of former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) are displayed next to the American dollar notes in this photo illustration in Johannesburg, file. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand was stronger early on Thursday, as the U.S. dollar retreated on global markets.

At 0715 GMT, the rand traded at 15.1000 versus the dollar, 0.5% stronger than its previous close.

The U.S. currency dropped amid mixed signals over whether the United States and China were making progress in resolving their trade dispute.

The South African rand is highly susceptible to swings in global market sentiment, as some investors use it as a proxy for emerging market risk.

Industrial output data is due later on Thursday, which will give clues about the health of the South African economy, which is Africa’s most industrialised.

Business confidence data released on Wednesday rebounded, but economic growth has been weak.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index was 0.2% higher in early trade.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Robert Birsel

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