November 30, 2018 / 6:39 AM / 13 days ago

South Africa's rand steady, eyes on Trump-Xi meeting

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 30 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand steadied against the dollar in early trade on Friday, with investors cautious ahead of a crucial weekend meeting between the Chinese and U.S. presidents that could determine the course of a heated trade war over the next year.

* At 0630 GMT, the rand traded at 13.6600 per dollar, not far off its New York close of 13.6575 on Thursday.

* The currency opened at 13.6700 a dollar.

* Investor attention is on planned talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump over the weekend on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina.

* “Markets will likely be waiting for indications of an agreement between the U.S. and China, in an effort to avoid an escalation in the trade war. Liquidity is likely to be limited at month-end,” Nedbank analysts wrote in a note.

* Locally, focus on October trade and budget balance numbers due later in the day. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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