South Africa’s rand steady, eyes on U.S. presidential debate


JOHANNESBURG, Sept 29 (Reuters)South Africa’s rand held steady versus the dollar early on Tuesday as financial markets braced for the first U.S. presidential debate, and traders awaited local second-quarter unemployment statistics.

At 0610 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 17.0425 per dollar, not far off its close of 17.0500 on Monday.

The market was looking towards Tuesday’s debate in the United States between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden, for hints of their policy plans.

Markets are also braced for South Africa’s second-quarter labour force survey due at 0930 GMT, which is expected to show a jump in the unemployment rate due to the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.

The unemployment rate hit a record high of 30.1% in the first quarter, highlighting weakness in the economy even before it was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2030 ZAR2030= was down 2.5 basis points to 9.52%.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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