Today, the South African rand has strengthened against the US dollar, after Cyprus reached a deal to tap bailout assistance from the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.

The yield on most benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on the 2015 bond rose to 5.55%, while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue declined to 7.48%.

At 06:00 SAST, the US dollar is trading 0.4% lower against the South African rand at R9.2639, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R12.0716.

The euro has advanced against its major peers this morning, amid reports that Cyprus would get the first tranche of a EUR10.00bn international bailout in early May 2013, as the nation reached an agreement with international lenders to receive funds to prop up its ailing banking sector. On Friday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies, after the Greek Finance Ministry announced that Greece's Piraeus Bank has agreed to take over the Greek branches of Cyprus's troubled banks. However, data indicated that the German business confidence unexpectedly fell in March.

At 06:00 SAST, the euro advanced 0.3% against the US dollar to trade at $1.3031, while it has gained 0.3% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8551.

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