South African rand steady in start of rate decision week - REUTERS
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The South African rand was steady in early trade on Monday, ahead of local and international interest rate announcements this week.
At 0718 GMT, the rand traded at 18.9800 against the dollar , not far from its previous close of 18.9850.
The dollar last traded near its previous close of 105.260 against a basket of global currencies.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will announce its interest rate decision on Thursday and provide clues on the country's future rate path.
"The SARB is expected to keep rates unchanged but remain hawkish on the back of concerns of an uptick in inflation on the back of the higher fuel price," said Andre Cilliers, currency strategist at TreasuryONE.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is also expected to keep rate unchanged when it meets on Wednesday, he added, "but with a hawkish outlook given the higher oil price and higher inflation numbers".
Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange opened lower, with the blue-chip Top-40 index (.JTOPI) last trading down more than 0.6%.
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South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was marginally weaker in early deals, with the yield up 0.5 basis points to 10.480%.
Reporting by Tannur Anders, Editing by Bhargav Acharya and Alex Richardson