Johannesburg — South Africa’s rand was little changed in early trade on Wednesday ahead of April retail sales data that could provide clues on the health of the local economy.
At 0619 GMT, the rand traded at 18.6400 against the dollar, 0.01% weaker than its previous close.
At 1100 GMT, Statistics South Africa will release retail sales data (ZARET=ECI) for April. Analysts polled by Reuters predict a 1.4% year-on-year decline.
Investors are also awaiting the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s June meeting later in the day.
Slowing U.S. inflation solidified bets that the Federal Reserve would skip a hike later in the day, but uncertainty remained about further rate increases beyond this week.
“The USD-ZAR has paused for now and will only resume fresh directional momentum after the FOMC decision this evening,” ETM Analytics said in a note.
South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was unchanged in early deals, with the yield at 10.765%.
*Anait Miridzhanian; Editing: Rashmi Aich – Reuters
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