March 29, 2017 / 6:54 AM / 8 months ago

South Africa's rand, bonds on back foot on fears of Gordhan exit

JOHANNESBURG, March 29 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand and government bonds were on the back foot early on Wednesday over speculation of an imminent cabinet shake-up that could see Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan removed.

* Gordhan abandoned an investor roadshow and flew home on Tuesday on the orders of President Jacob Zuma, triggering speculation about his future.

* Gordhan’s recall rattled investors who see him as a focus of stability and is widely respected in financial markets.

* At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 13.0475 per dollar, 0.48 percent weaker from its New York close on Tuesday.

* In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 rose 11.5 basis points to 8.855 percent.

* Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.49 percent. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Alison Williams)

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