September 21, 2018 / 6:53 AM / 3 months ago

Profit-taking pauses South Africa rand rally ahead of Ramaphosa stimulus statement

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 21 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand paused a rally early on Friday as investors took profits and awaited details of a fiscal stimulus plan by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

* At 0630 GMT the rand was 0.2 percent weaker at 14.3150 per dollar, dipping back after powering to its best since August 29 as the central bank left lending rates unchanged and emerging market demand was sparked by easing trade war fears.

* Despite holding lending rates at 6.5 percent for a fourth meeting in a row the Reserve Bank struck a hawkish tone, saying rand weakness amid an emerging market selloff posed a risk to inflation.

* The greenback slipped to near 2-1/2 month lows amid a switch in investors’ view that the Sino-U.S. trade conflict would not lead to an immediate global shock, driving gains by emerging currencies across the board.

* Attention shifts to Ramaphosa’s address due at 0800 GMT where he is set to detail the government’s plan to revive the economy after it slipped into recession in the second quarter.

* Stocks are due open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.62 percent. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana Editing by Ed Stoddard)

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