Rand on the backfoot after US jobs data, stocks seen firmer

Stocks look set to open at least 433 points higher as equity futures on South Africa's blue-chip Top-40 index, which often act as a precursor of the actual index, climbed 0.91 percent.

South African bank notes featuring an image of former South African President Nelson Mandela are displayed at an office in Johannesburg January 17, 2013. .   REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa's rand remained on the backfoot on Monday following solid U.S. employment data last week that increased bets of an interest rate hike there in December and pushed the local unit to a record low.

At 0645 GMT the rand had extended losses by 0.23 percent to 14.1850 per dollar, just off the fresh all-time low of 14.2080 in the New York session.

Government bonds were also weaker with the benchmark issue due in 2026 adding 5.5 basis points to 8.565 percent in early trade.

The rand, along with its emerging market peers, retreated against the greenback after U.S. nonfarm payroll data beat expectations on Friday, showing employers in the United States added 271,000 jobs in October, the most in 10 months.

Traders anticipate some relief for the currency may come from disappointing Chinese trade data released over the weekend, which tempered the dollar's rally as it raised questions about the global outlook and the Federal Reserve's policy track.

"Does the Fed use the continued decline in China as an excuse to delay hiking rates again?" head trader at Standard BankWarrick Butler said in a note to clients.

The figures showed China imports slipped 18.8 percent in the word's number two economy in October, much sharper than the 16 percent dropped predicted by economists polled by Reuters.


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