The rand was steady on Tuesday, recouping the previous session’s losses against the dollar as investors held off any major moves ahead of trade data locally and a raft of crucial offshore data later in the week.
Stocks were due to open slightly firmer, with the Top 40 futures index up 0.3%.
Government bonds inched firmer in early trade, with the yield on the benchmark issue due in 2026 down 2 basis points to 9.46%.
At 08:45 the rand had firmed 0.1% to R15.7900/$, backtracking slightly after rallying to a session best of R15.7300/$ overnight.
The South African Revenue Service publishes trade balance figures for April at 14:00, with new vehicle sales and purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data later in the week before Standard & Poor’s announces its rating review on Friday.
“Today we get the SA trade balance, always one to throw a bit of volatility into the equation given its propensity to be completely at odds with expectations,” chief trader at Standard Bank Warrick Butler said in a note.
Traders also said the rand was likely to remain in a narrow range as investors awaited more clues about the timing of an interest rate hike in the United States and a looming downgrade to South Africa’s rating at the end of the week.
The US publishes PMI and consumer confidence figures on Wednesday before releasing employment data on Friday.
“The market will be anxiously awaiting that number to see if the Fed (Federal Reserve) has the ammunition to pull the trigger on the June shotgun,” said Butler.