The rand was slightly stronger at midday on Tuesday despite the GDP growth number for 2016 coming in marginally worse than expected. The South African economy grew 0.3% in 2016, Statistics SA said on Tuesday — worse than the expected 0.5%. GDP in the fourth quarter amounted to -0.3%, mainly due to lower mining and manufacturing production The unadjusted real GDP increased 0.7% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016. At 11.45am the rand was at R12.9773 from R13.0137. The rand was R13.7240 against the euro from R13.7717 and at R15.8420 against the pound from R15.9290. The euro was at $1.0575 from $1.0582. Global trends are expected to affect the rand over the short term. These include a possible US interest-rate increase next week as well as softer commodity prices. "Despite the markets now pricing a 90% probability of a rate hike in the US next week, the rand had thus far managed to trade positively," analysts at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking said. The key technical le...

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