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South African rand strengthens, eyes still on the Fed

·1 min read

June 24 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed against the dollar early on Friday, as investors continue to assess the path for Federal Reserve policy and whether aggressive rate hikes would trigger a recession.

At 0709 GMT, the rand traded at 15.9175 against the dollar, 0.28% firmer than its previous close.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rivals, dropped 0.12% to 104.28.

Fed Governor Michelle Bowman said on Thursday that she supports 50 basis point hikes for "the next few" meetings after July's. Meanwhile, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, in his second day of Congressional testimony, stressed the central bank's "unconditional" commitment to taming inflation, even amid risks to growth.

On the stock market, the Top-40 index and the broader all-share index rose around 0.2% in early trade.

The government's benchmark 2030 bond was stable at 10.125%. (Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Chopra)