The rand has risen to the highest in more than three weeks after Chinese trade data beat forecasts.
The rand's appreciation boosted growth prospects for the biggest buyer of South African raw materials.
Exports from the world’s second-largest economy climbed 7.2% last month, compared with the 5.5% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey, the General Administration of Customs said in Beijing on Sunday.
China accounts for about 13% of South African exports, according to government data.
“We’ve started the week with positive data” amid “a nice pickup in exports”, John Cairns, a currency strategist at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, wrote in a note to clients on Monday.
The rand appreciated 0.4% to 9.9729 per dollar by 10.27am in Johannesburg on Monday, the highest since August 16. Yields on 10.5% bonds due December 2026 fell eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 8.32%.
Scaling back stimulus programmes
The currency of Africa’s biggest economy was aided last week by a smaller-than-expected increase in US payrolls in August, easing concern about whether the labour market is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to begin scaling back stimulus programmes aimed at boosting growth.
The rand also rallied after some South African gold miners returned to work last week, accepting a wage offer.
“The weak payrolls number and the ending of most of the local mining strikes has brought some much needed relief to the rand,” Cairns said. Foreign investors bought a net R100-million of South African bonds and sold R599-million of equities on September 6, according to JSE data. – Bloomberg