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South Africa's rand buoyed by weaker dollar at end of volatile week

Kitco News

JOHANNESBURG, March 17 (Reuters) - The South African rand gained against a weaker dollar early on Friday, capping a volatile week fuelled by fears of a global banking crisis and the implications for monetary policy.

At 0656 GMT, the rand traded at 18.3300 versus the dollar , about 0.4% stronger than its closing level on Thursday.

The dollar was down about 0.4% against a basket of global currencies.

Action to rescue First Republic Bank (FRC.N) in the United States on Thursday boosted risk appetite globally on Friday. The move comes after the collapse of two other mid-size U.S. banks over the past week and an announcement by Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) that it would borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss central bank.

The focus will now shift to the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting next week, with some investors hoping it could slow its aggressive interest rate hikes to ease the stress on the financial sector.

No major South African economic data releases are due on Friday, so the rand will likely take its cue from global drivers.

Economic data released by Statistics South Africa this week highlighted an economy struggling at the start of 2023, weighed down by crippling power cuts.

The government's benchmark 2030 bond was marginally weaker on Friday, with the yield up 1 basis point at 10.110%.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; editing by Eileen Soreng
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