South African rand strengthens as dollar drifts lower

Credit: REUTERS/MIKE HUTCHINGS

Updates prices as of 1605 GMT

JOHANNESBURG, March 13 (Reuters) - The South African rand strengthened in afternoon trade on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar drifted lower on global markets.

At 1605 GMT, the rand traded at 18.5600 against the dollar ZAR=D3, up 0.5% on its previous close.

The dollar index =USD was down about 0.1% against a basket of global currencies, as traders shrugged off hotter-than-anticipated U.S. inflation and still expected a Federal Reserve interest rate cut in June.

No major South African economic data was released on Wednesday, but on Thursday mining ZAMNG=ECI and manufacturing ZAMAN=ECI production figures for January will be published, which could provide a local driver to the currency.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Top-40 index .JTOPI closed up 1.15%.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond ZAR2030= was weaker, with the yield up 4.5 basis points to 10.210%.

(Reporting by Nellie Peyton and Sfundo Parakozov in Johannesburg; Editing by Alexander Winning and Nia Williams)

((Nellie.Peyton@thomsonreuters.com))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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