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JOHANNESBURG - The rand was firmer on the first trading day of 2018, buoyed by improved sentiment for emerging currencies and a sluggish dollar.

At 0645 GMT, the rand was 0.24% firmer at R12.3500 per dollar, slightly changed from its 2-1/2-year high of R12.2400.

The currency advanced by about 13% in 2017, making most of those gains after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected President Jacob Zuma’s successor as head of the African National Congress (ANC) last month.

The dollar was near a three-month low versus a basket of major currencies in early trade.

Bonds were flat with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 at 8.605%.

Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.47%.

This article first appeared on EWN : Rand firmer as dollar woes continue

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