The rand remained a little stronger on Tuesday afternoon, but was off the day’s best levels as good news from the latest manufacturing data was seemingly already priced in. A stronger dollar, together with weak local business confidence data, neutralised further gains in the rand, which earlier made an unconvincing attempt to break through R15/$, reaching a best level of R15.0108. "The rand has thus far failed to make a meaningful attempt on the R15/$ level, and this remains pivotal," analysts at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking said. However, the local currency has recovered measurably from its weakest level so far in September, when it hit R15.69 last week. Output in the manufacturing sector rose by an annual 2.9% in July, up from 0.6% in the previous month and higher than the consensus forecast of 1.1%. The growth has raised the prospect of higher GDP growth but analysts have cautioned against over-optimism.

The manufacturing data suggests that the economy made a go...

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