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South African rand falls as risk appetite wanes on US protests, Sino-US tensions

The South African rand fell against the dollar in early trade on Tuesday, amid growing concerns over U.S.-China tensions and rising violent protests across the United States.

At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 17.4130 per dollar, 0.22% lower than its previous close.

In the absence of local catalysts, traders’ focus was on global events.

“The rand is currently caught in range-bound trading,” said Bianca Botes, executive director at Peregrine Treasury Solutions in Pretoria.

“However, as the riots (in the U.S), the geopolitical environment, as well as the reopening of the economies unfold, they could potentially provide new clear direction for the local unit.”

Broader global risk appetite was also hampered by U.S. President Donald Trump’s vow to use force to end violent protests in American cities, while reports of an order from China to halt U.S. soybean purchases again raised the spectre of damaging trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing.

In fixed income, the yield on the 10-year government bond was up 0.5 basis point to 8.765%.

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