CLICKS: 19,507 +417 (+2.18%)
South Africa's rand lifted by faster Chinese growth
JOHANNESBURG, April 17 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand
firmed on Wednesday ahead of consumer inflation and retail sales
data, lifted by rising global risk demand after China's economy
grew faster than expected.
At 0645 GMT the rand was 0.39 percent firmer at
13.9800 per dollar after closing at 14.0350 overnight in New
York, with tightening liquidity ahead of Easter holidays
amplifying moves as traders looked to lock in positions.
China's economy grew at a slightly better-than-forecast 6.4
percent in the first quarter, defying expectations for a further
slowdown as industrial production jumped sharply, spurring
appetite for assets from emerging and commodity-driven
South Africa in particular depends on exports of raw
materials to China, with local economic growth in the last
decade mirroring that of the world's no. 2 economy, and
Beijing's ongoing trade spat with the United States has also
influenced investment flows.
Inflation figures for March are due at 0800 GMT followed by
retail sales data at 1100 GMT.
Price growth is set to remain close to the central bank's
target of 4.5 percent and supportive of the rand as a high-yield
target while U.S. lending rates remain on pause.
Bonds also firmed, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year
government issue falling 3 basis points to 8.47 percent.
In equities, Clicks reported a 6.2 percent increase
in turnover despite a difficult business climate that has seen
fellow retailers struggle to make a profit as consumers cut down
on concessionary spending.
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana)
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