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Yesterday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar, after annual retail sales growth in South Africa unexpectedly slowed in January. Meanwhile, data revealed signs of improvement in the US economy, after US retail sales increased the most in five months in February. Markets await the US weekly initial jobless claims data scheduled for release later in the day.
The yield on benchmark government bonds rose yesterday. The yield on the 2015 bond rose to 5.41%, while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue advanced to 7.44%.
At 06:00 SAST, the US dollar is trading 0.1% lower against the South African rand at R9.2495, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R11.9895.
The Australian dollar strengthened against its major peers this morning, after data showed that the nation’s employment increased almost seven times faster than market estimated in February. Yesterday, the euro dropped against most of the major currencies, following a rise in Italian borrowing costs at an auction of three and fifteen year government bonds and after data indicated that the monthly industrial production in the euro area declined at a faster-than-expected pace in January.
At 06:00 SAST, the euro is trading almost unchanged against the US dollar at $1.2962, while it has weakened 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8673.
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