Rand backtracks as investors cash in on rally

Johannesburg - The rand retreated from two-and-a-half month highs on Friday as a recent rally lost steam, with some investors booking profits and paring bets ahead of inflation data in the United States.

The rand was at R14.3200/$ at 08:45, 0.63% softer than New York close. The unit gained more than 2% on Thursday in global risk-on rally.

The rand could resume gains with risk appetite boosted by a firm gross domestic product print from China. The low rate environment in the developed world is also supporting high-yielding emerging market assets.

Markets are eyeing US inflation, retail and manufacturing data for clues on the timing of interest rate hikes.

Stocks were due to open slightly lower on the JSE, with the Top 40 futures index down 0.24%.

Government bonds have checked their rally, with yields up 2.5 basis points to 8.7%.

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