12/07/2018 12:24 SAST | Updated 12/07/2018 12:24 SAST

Rand Firmer Ahead Of Mining, Manufacturing Data

But Donald Trump's trade war with China is also affecting the value of the rand, and hence investment in SA.

Bloomberg Creative Photos via Getty Images

South Africa's rand gained on Thursday, reversing the previous session's slide, as some traders picked up the currency at the current level, assuming the trade conflict between the United States and China would lead to another spell of risk aversion.

At 7am (Greenwich Mean Time) the rand was 0.44 percent firmer at R13.4875 per dollar, having touched a low of R13.5100 overnight as a fresh wave of risk aversion rocked emerging markets — after Donald Trump announced plans for additional tariffs on $200-billion (~R2.69-trillion) worth of Chinese imports.

Investors had avoided big positions for most of the week, and the rand traded mainly on technical factors with R13.50 and R13.20 the key entry and exit points.

Mining and manufacturing figures due out later are expected to show a lacklustre economic recovery in the second quarter after a contraction in the first, prompting some short positioning in preparation of a test near the R13.60 mark.

Bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 up 2.5 basis points to 8.75 percent.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange's Top40 index opened 0.2 percent higher at 51,150 points.