JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand steadied against the dollar early on Wednesday ahead of retail sales figures that should give more clues to the health of the economy in the second quarter.
At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 13.3100 per dollar, from its overnight close of 13.3150 on Tuesday.
South Africa’s June retail sales figures are due at 1100 GMT and analysts forecast a year-on-year rise of 2.2 percent after sales increased 1.7 percent in May.
South Africa entered recession for the first time in eight years after the economy contracted in the first quarter, led by weak manufacturing and trade.
Market focus also on minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s July meeting that will be released later on Wednesday, and will be watched for clues on the timing of rate hikes.
Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.47 percent.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was flat at 8.585 percent.