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Rand firms in line with emerging assets

Johannesburg - The rand strengthened on Tuesday in line with other emerging market assets on signs that tensions between Russia and Ukraine could ease after Moscow's move to annex the Crimea region.

The rand was at R10.7315/$ at 17:43, up 0.3% from Monday's New York close.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia, said he did not want to see Ukraine divided further, sparking a rally in Russian and other emerging market assets.

On Wednesday, the rand is likely to take its direction from local consumer inflation and retail sales data, as well as the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

"Commodity currencies seem to be having quite a good day today," said Ion de Vleeschauwer, chief dealer at Bidvest Bank."

(The rand) is towards the lower end of the range. We need to break sub-10.65 before we can see significantly more gains. We await the crucial data out tomorrow.

"The yield on the 2026 government bond gained 3.5 basis points to 8.6% while that on the 2015 paper was up 3 basis points to 6.96%.

By Fin24