December 22, 2017 / 12:28 PM / in a year

UPDATE 1-South African rand, stocks flat ahead of festive break

* South Africa’s financial markets closed on Dec. 25 and 26 (Adds latest figures)

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 22 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand traded flat on Friday in thin pre-holiday trade with previous gains spurred by the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new leader of the governing African National Congress party still largely intact.

Stocks were barely changed from Thursday’s close with low volumes ahead of the festive weekend.

The benchmark Top-40 index dipped 0.04 percent to 52,064 points while the All-Share index ticked up 0.05 percent to 58,800 points.

At 1150 GMT the rand was 0.04 percent weaker at 12.7600 per dollar, easing back slightly from a session best 12.6950 but still on track for the fourth straight week of gains.

The rand has gained nearly 7 percent against the dollar since last Friday, hurdling a number of technical milestones as it reached nine-month on investors betting the Ramaphosa victory would usher in economic reforms and business friendly policy.

As leader of the ANC, in power since the end of apartheid in 1994, Ramaphosa is likely to become the country’s president at national polls in 2019.

Bonds were weaker in a shortened day of trade, with the yield on the benchmark government issue due in 2026 adding 2 basis points to 8.715 percent. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Tanisha Heiberg Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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