The rand, which has been weighed down by strikes in the platinum sector and risk-off sentiment in emerging markets, was at 11.1480 to the dollar at 8.55am , down 0.5 percent from Friday's New York close. The Reserve Bank will announce its decision on interest rates at the end of a three-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday. Economists surveyed last week said they expected the bank to keep its repo rate unchanged at 40-year lows of 5 percent. The South African Revenue Service will also release trade data for December on Friday. The rand and other emerging market currencies came under pressure last week as|investors sought safe haven|assets. They will remain under strain this week before the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting where it could announce a further reduction in its monetary stimulus. "We expect the rand to remain at the mercy of emerging market sentiment over the coming week," Absa Capital analysts wrote in a note. The yield on the 2026 government bond edged up 2 basis points to 8.585 percent, while that on the 2015 paper was up 1 basis point at 6.48 percent. - Reuters Daily News
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