The South African rand extended last session's uptrend against the US dollar in New York trading on Thursday. The rand surged to a 5 1/2 -month high of 8.9825 against the greenback by about 1:55 pm ET, compared to yesterday's New York session close of 9.3602. At present, the rand is trading at 9.1073 versus the greenback.

Today, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa or NAAMSA said the new vehicle sales dropped 30.3% year-on-year in March, after a 36.3% decline in February.

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