South Africa’s rand firms as investors see slow pace of U.S. rate hikes

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand strengthened against the dollar alongside other emerging market currencies on Thursday, buoyed by investors’ expectations that the pace of U.S. rate hikes would now be slower than initially seen.

* Rand at 13.4450 to the dollar by 0650 GMT, up 0.96 percent from Wednesday’s close at 13.5750.

* Yield on 2026 benchmark government bond falls 12.5 basis points to 8.485 percent.

* South African Reserve Bank expected to keep benchmark repo rate unchanged at 7 percent.

* Blue chip futures index rises 0.5 percent, pointing to JSE securities exchange opening firmer at 0700 GMT.

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