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    South Africa’s rand edges higher in thin trade

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    South Africa’s rand edged higher early on Monday in thin trade ahead of a national holiday, with traders unlikely to take many big bets ahead of some key data due later in the week.

    At 0630 GMT, the rand was 0.12% firmer at 14.2700 per dollar, not far-off its close at 14.2875 on Friday in New York.

    The rand has made solid gains in April, outperforming its emerging market peers, with gains of around 3% year-to-date against the U.S. dollar, as higher commodity prices cushioned demand for the currency against rising U.S. Treasury yields.

    But the currency has struggled to break through the 14.20 technical resistance level, an indication of the caution over the country’s economic growth and slow pace of vaccine rollouts.

    On Monday, the health ministry said it was resuming the Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ.N) COVID-19 vaccine research study after it was paused over rare cases of blood clots. read more

    Producer price inflation on Wednesday kicks off a sequence of month-end data releases, including national budget and trade figures, which may provide direction for the currency in addition to the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week.

    “Although no changes are expected to the Fed’s monetary policy settings, the bank’s view on rising U.S. inflation and the economic recovery will be studied by the markets,” said analysts at Bureau of Economic Research in a note.

    Bonds edged lower, with the yield on the 2030 benchmark issue adding 1 basis point to 9.225%.

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