South Africa's rand firmer in early trade, attacks on cenbank set to weigh


JOHANNESBURG, June 20 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand
regained some ground against the dollar early on Tuesday having
dipped to a three-week low overnight as continued demand for
high-yielding currencies globally helped it shrug off concerns
about the central bank's independence.
    * At 0700 GMT, the rand <ZAR=D3> traded at 12.9550 per
dollar, 0.3 percent firmer compared with its New York close of
12.9925 on Monday.
    * The rand tumbled nearly 2 percent to a low of 13.0525, its
weakest since June 1, after an anti-graft government agency on
Monday recommended constitutional changes to make the central
bank abandon its policy of currency and price stability.
    * Traders and analysts warned that the move could further
dampen confidence in South Africa following credit downgrades to
junk and two consecutive quarterly growth contractions.
    * The South Africa central bank hit back against Public
Protector on Tuesday, saying it would take urgent legal action
against the recommendation. [nJ8N1IX00Z]
    * Stocks opened lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities
exchange's Top 40 <.JTOPI> down 0.17 percent.
    * In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government
bond due in 2026 <ZAR186=> rose half a basis point to 8.55

 (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Ed Stoddard)
 ((mfuneko.toyana@thomsonreuters.com; +27117753153; Reuters
Messaging: mfuneko.toyana.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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