South African rand little changed at open, tracking dollar

JOHANNESBURG, June 24 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand was little changed early on Thursday, tracking the dollar which lolled below an 11-week high amid conflicting signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

At 0718 GMT, the rand traded at 14.2250 against the dollar, less than 0.1% stronger than its previous close.

“The rand remains range-bound as we open this morning in line with yesterday’s close,” said Andre Cilliers, a currency strategist at TreasuryONE. “For now, we can expect the rand to mostly track the dollar.”

The U.S. currency got some support overnight as two Fed officials said a period of high inflation in the United States could last longer than anticipated, a day after Fed Chair Jerome Powell had played down rising price pressures. But it was a touch weaker on Thursday against a basket of major currencies .

Statistics South Africa will release producer price index figures around 0930 GMT, giving further clues about inflationary pressures in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Data on Wednesday showed consumer inflation hit a 30-month high in May, but economists are not predicting the South African Reserve Bank will raise interest rates any time soon.

South African government bonds were also barely changed early on Thursday, as the yield on the benchmark 2030 instrument rose 0.5 basis points to 8.955%. (Reporting by Alexander Winning Editing by Mark Potter)