South African rand firms against dollar after unemployment data

South African rand firms against dollar after unemployment data

Aug 23 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed on Tuesday after data showed that the country's unemployment rate slightly improved in the second quarter.

At 1643 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 16.9700 against the dollar, 0.15% stronger than its previous close.

South Africa's official unemployment rate edged lower to 33.9% in the second quarter of 2022 from 34.5% in the first quarter, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Economists at Nedbank said in a note that employment picked up as the end of lockdown restrictions encouraged workers to return to the market and economic activity normalised.

Data also showed on Tuesday that a composite leading business cycle indicator increased 0.4% month-on-month in June.

On the stock market, the Top-40 .JTOPI and the broader all-share .JALSH indexes rose more than 0.8%, driven mostly by mining sector .JRESI shares.

The South African government's benchmark 2030 bond ZAR2030= fell, with the yield up 2.5 basis points to 10.340%.
Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru and Anait Miridzhanian in Gdansk Editing by Jamie Freed and Matthew Lewis