May 8, 2020 / 7:04 AM / a month ago

South Africa's rand gains as easing U.S-China tension boost risk demand

JOHANNESBURG, May 8 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand rose early on Friday, with sentiment toward risk and emerging market currencies boosted by an easing in tensions between China and the United States and optimism about the re-opening of some economies around the world.

At 0630 GMT the rand was up 0.22% at 18.5400 per dollar after an overnight close of 18.5900, extending the gains that saw it rise around 2% this week as global central bank stimulus encouraged risk-buying. Hopes for economic normalisation also supported sentiment.

Japan, Australia and Pakistan are the latest nations to announce an easing of national lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Reports overnight that China and the United States’ top trade negotiators had held a phone call and agreed to strengthen economic and public health cooperation, after a week of diplomatic tensions, helped spur risk demand.

Bonds also gained, with the yield on the benchmark 2030 government issue down 6 basis points to 9.25%.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, editing by Larry King

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