South African rand strengthens ahead of interest rate decision

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JOHANNESBURG, September 23 (Reuters)The South African rand strengthened on Thursday, as traders awaited the results of a central bank monetary policy meeting later in the day, where the regulator is expected to leave its policy rate unchanged.

At 0643 GMT, the rand ZAR = traded at 14.7300 against the dollar, 0.4% firmer than its previous close.

Wednesday’s data showing consumer price inflation in August to hit 4.9% did little to change market expectations that the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would maintain. the benchmark rate at 3.5%.

Consumer price inflation has remained within the central bank’s target rate of 3-6%.

“Policymakers are unlikely to be overly concerned with the latest inflation figures and will remain focused on supporting the economic recovery. After all, the headline rate hike was prompted by temporary factors and inflation. underlying remains very low, ”said Virág Fórizs, Africa economist at Capital Economics.

In fixed income, the yield on the government loan maturing in 2030 ZAR2030 = rose 1.5 basis points to 9.1% in first trades.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by Jason Neely)

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