South Africa's rand firms on improved risk appetite
JOHANNESBURG, Oct 19 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand started the week firmer on Monday as appetite for risk was supported by hopes of a U.S. fiscal package and expectations of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year and data showing China's economy rebounding.
At 0630 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 16.5125 versus the dollar, 0.23% firmer than its close on Friday.
"The foreign exchange markets continue to trade at the mercy of headlines," Nedbank analysts said in a note. "This time, the global focus is on the ongoing stimulus package talks from the U.S. and the second wave of COVID-19 infections, the measures being implemented and the possibility of a vaccine."
A rally in risk assets was buoyed by hopes of a coronavirus vaccine after drugmaker Pfizer Inc PFE.N said on Friday it could have a coronavirus vaccine ready in the United States by the end of this year.
China's rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic stayed on course last quarter as gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.9%, although the weaker-than-expected headline growth suggested risks persisted.
Government bonds were firmer in early deals, and the yield on the instrument due in 2030 ZAR2030= fell 3.5 basis points to 9.31%.
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Edmund Blair)
((Olivia.Kumwenda@thomsonreuters.com; +27 10 346 1084;))
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