August 4, 2017 / 7:01 AM / a year ago

South Africa's rand inches firmer as traders await offshore events

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 4 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed a little on Friday, soothed by the Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged and traders taking cautious positions and selling dollars ahead of crucial jobs data in the United States.

* By 0650 GMT the rand had gained 0.15 percent to 13.3725 per dollar compared to its close of 13.3900 overnight in New York.

* Having fallen by 3 percent against the greenback since Monday as concerns about the economy and the risk of credit ratings downgrades, the rand benefited from market caution ahead of U.S. jobs data that is set to give clues on the direction of interest rates there.

* The dollar was back near a 2-1/2-year lows against the euro and 15-month lows versus a basket of major currencies, aiding a lift in emerging market assets.

* Traders warned that growing concerns about the condition of state-owned companies and the general lack of economic growth could tip sentiment against the rand.

* In fixed income the yield on the government issue due in 2026 was down 0.5 basis points to 8.645 percent.

* Stocks were set to open firmer at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.4 percent. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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