March 15, 2019 / 8:19 AM / 2 months ago

South Africa's rand recovers as trade deal hopes rise

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 August 13 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s firmed early on Friday, reversing some of its losses from the previous session with demand for emerging market currencies boosted by new signs of a trade deal between China and the United States.

At 0730 GMT the rand was 0.41 percent firmer at 14.4800 per dollar compared to a close of 14.5400 overnight in New York.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by telephone with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the two sides made further substantive progress on trade talks, Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

Bonds also gained with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 down 3.5 basis points to 8.725 percent.

Stocks opened firmer, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index up 0.35 percent to 49,712 points.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana

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