South Africa's rand strengthens slightly before second quarter GDP data


JOHANNESBURG, Sept 3 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand strengthened slightly in early trade on Tuesday in the build up to the release of second quarter economic growth figures.

At 0630 GMT the rand ZAR=D3 was 0.11% firmer against the dollar at 15.2400 per dollar compared with a close of 15.2575 overnight.

Africa's most developed economy contracted 3.2% in the first quarter, hit by nationwide power outages by cash-strapped state power firm Eskom.

A Reuters poll of economists forecast Q2 GDP expanding 2.4% - thought some analysts said weak demand and political uncertainty would continue to weigh on the economy.

"Weak growth is likely to be the overarching theme this week, with Q2 GDP data that is set to be released today likely to reflect this despite a technical rebound," said researchers at ETM Analytics in a note.

Bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 ZAR186= up 3.5 basis points to 8.195%.

(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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