JOHANNESBURG, June 1 Reuters The South African rand firmed in early trade on Tuesday ahead of unemployment data, still buoyed by bets that interest rates in the United States will remain low for an extended period.
At 0645 GMT, the rand was 0.25 firmer at 13.7100 per dollar, just shy of the 27month best it touched last week.
While U.S. inflation data released on Friday briefly drove the greenback higher against other currencies, traders said it was unlikely to shift the Federal Reserve from its loose policy.
South Africas statistics offices publishes first quarter unemployment data at 0930 GMT. The rate of joblessness jumped to a record high of 32.5 in the fourth quarter, and despite a recovery in economic activity since, it is not seen improving much.
Bonds were a touch firmer, with the yield on the benchmark 2030 paper down 1.5 basis points to 8.895.
Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana Editing by Mark Potter