South African rand flat as power cuts continue

<html xmlns=""><head><title>UPDATE 1-South African rand flat as power cuts continue</title></head><body>

Updates to reflect afternoon trade

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 31 (Reuters) -The South African rand was little changed on Tuesday as the country continued to struggle with rolling power outages.

At 1632 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 17.4150 against the dollar, versus its previous close of 17.4100.

"There is simply not much positive news domestically, which was bound to impact market sentiment at some point," ETM Analytics said in a note.

South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) wants to employ disaster management legislation that was used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to help end crippling power cuts, a top party official said on Tuesday.

Struggling state utility Eskom has implemented power cuts every day this year, after a record number of days with outages last year. On Tuesday, it will ramp up power cuts to the highest level on record.

Data from the revenue service showed on Tuesday that South Africa's trade surplus narrowed to 5.43 billion rand in December from a revised surplus of 7.30 billion rand in November.

The country's private sector credit expanded 7.73% year on year in December after rising by 8.30% in the prior month, according to central bank data.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the All-share index .JALSH lost more than 1% on Tuesday.

The government's benchmark 2030 bond ZAR2030= was slightly stronger, with the yield down 1.5 basis points to 9.675%.

Reporting by Alexander Winning and Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jonathan Oatis


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