March 4, 2019 / 7:26 AM / 5 months ago

South African rand firms as U.S.-China trade optimism boosts risk appetite

Illustration photo shows a two-rand coin above a South African flag April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed against the dollar in early trade on Monday as risk appetite improved on signs the United States and China were close to striking a tariff deal to end their protracted trade war.

At 0604 GMT, the rand traded at 14.1650 per dollar, 0.46 percent firmer than its close of 14.2300 on Friday.

U.S.-China trade deal appears to be closer to reality, rolling back U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday.

Locally, the focus this week is on GDP numbers for the last quarter of 2018 due on Tuesday and current account data for the same period to be released on Thursday.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 was down 2 basis points to 8.725 percent in early trade.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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