South African rand strengthens, mid-term budget in sight

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -The South African rand strengthened on Friday ahead of the mid-term budget next week which will provide insight into the health of Africa’s most industrialised economy.

At 1615 GMT, the rand traded at 18.8075 to the dollar, about 0.8% stronger than its previous close.

The dollar last traded around 0.15% weaker against a basket of global currencies.

The rand had a turbulent week, taking direction from global factors, such as U.S economic data, with the few domestic economic indicators in the backseat.

Investors will on Wednesday turn their attention to South Africa’s mid-term budget for clues on the health of the economy, which has been battling high inflation and rolling power cuts.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was slightly up, with the yield down 4 basis point to 10.660%.

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange fell, with the blue-chip Top-40 index closing 0.75% lower.

(Reporting by Tannur Anders and Nellie Peyton, Editing by Bhargav Acharya, Robert Birsel and Tomasz Janowski)