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Today, the South African rand has weakened against the US dollar, amid concerns about the US economy, after automatic spending cuts in defense and domestic programmes started on Friday as the US Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on an alternative fiscal plan. Meanwhile, data showed that the US ISM manufacturing activity expanded at a faster pace, while the Reuters/Michigan consumer sentiment index advanced in February.
The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on the three-year bond rose to 5.36%, while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue advanced to 7.37%. Data indicated that South Africa’s manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in six months in February.
At 06:00 SAST, the US dollar is trading 0.5% higher against the South African rand at R9.1062, while the euro is trading 0.4% higher at R11.8514. At 06:00 SAST, the British pound is trading 0.4% higher against the South African rand at R13.6898.
On Friday, the British pound weakened against its major peers, after data indicated that manufacturing activity in the UK unexpectedly contracted in February. In today’s trading session, markets are keeping an eye on eurozone Sentix investor confidence data for March for further direction.
At 06:00 SAST, the euro is trading marginally lower against the US dollar at $1.3016, while it has remained almost unchanged against the British pound at GBP0.8658.
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