South African rand gains before data-heavy end to the week

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -The South African rand gained on Tuesday ahead of a raft of domestic and international data releases due later this week.

At 1522 GMT, the rand traded at 18.4825 against the dollar, nearly 0.6% stronger than its previous close.

Analysts struggled to pick out a local driver, saying one factor helping the risk-sensitive rand was a decline in U.S. Treasury yields from the previous week’s highs.

“Whether this positive market sentiment can be sustained remains to be seen and will likely depend on U.S. labour market data scheduled for release in the coming days” that could influence the Federal Reserve’s interest rate plans, said Danny Greeff of ETM Analytics.

“This will give U.S. Treasuries and the (dollar) something trade on, with the (rand) still a passenger to their movements at the moment,” he added.

South African data releases this week include July money supply, private sector credit and budget numbers on Wednesday, and July producer inflation and trade figures on Thursday.

Those data points will shed light on how Africa’s most industrialised economy was performing early in the third quarter.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the blue-chip Top-40 index closed 0.4% weaker. South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond also fell, with the yield up 5 basis points at 10.165%.

(Reporting by Tannur Anders with additional reporting by Bhargav AcharyaEditing by Alexander Winning and Mark Potter)