Rand firms, stocks set to open higher

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand firmed early on Tuesday, but remained above the 12.9000/dollar technical support mark as a strong greenback limited gains despite improving investor risk sentiment as worries over North Korea and Hurricane Irma recede.
At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 12.9250 per dollar, 0.46 percent firmer than its overnight close.
"Global markets are reflecting both risk-on and a stronger dollar, an unusual combination. The net effect on all risk currencies has been for weakness, the dollar effect dominating," Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns wrote in a note.
The rand had breached the 12.9000 technical support mark in the past five sessions, also with worries about South Africa's fiscal position and political risks creeping back into the short-term outlook.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Monday the economy was likely to miss the government's growth target of 1.3 percent for 2017 despite recent data showing it had shaken off a technical recession.Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange's Top-40 futures index up 0.3 percent.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government due in 2026 rose 1.5 basis points to 8.46 percent.