JOHANNESBURG, Oct 3 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed early on Wednesday against a softer dollar, in line with a rise in local bonds as investor appetite for riskier assets was boosted.
* The rand was 0.52 percent stronger at 14.2900 per dollar at 0650 GMT, having closed in New York at 14.3650.
* The currency is expected to trade between 14.2000 and 14.4500 to the dollar on Wednesday, NKC African Economics wrote in a note.
* The rand remained under pressure as retail price of petrol in South Africa rose by 1.00 rand per litre as the weakening exchange rate and increases in the prices of crude oil continues to be the focus.
* South Africa-focused investors were awaiting the release of the Standard Bank Purchasing Managers Index.
* In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 1.5 basis points to 9.080 percent, reflecting stronger bond prices.
* Stocks are due open weaker at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index down 0.04 percent. (Reporting by Nomvelo Chalumbira Editing by Joe Brock)