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ZAR Set to End Week Stronger after CPI, Interest Rate Pause

JOHANNESBURG, July 21 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand was set to end the week slightly firmer after inflation fell back within target and the central bank decided to pause interest rate hikes.

At 0725 GMT on Friday, the rand traded at 17.8800 against the dollar , around 0.3% stronger than its previous close. It has gained around 1% against the greenback this week.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Thursday held its interest rate steady at 8.25%, its first pause since November 2021.

That came after figures showed consumer inflation for June eased to 5.4%, back into the central bank's target range of 3%-6%.

Central bank governor Lesetja Kganyago said the interest rate pause did not mean an end to the hiking cycle. But Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) analysts said the market was not pricing in further hikes.

"All told (the) rand continues to do extremely well," they added in their research note.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was slightly stronger in early deals, with the yield down 3 basis point to 10.325%.

Reporting by Tannur Anders; Editing by Anait Miridzhanian and Andrew Heavens

Source: Reuters

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