South Africa's rand firmed against the dollar in early trade on Friday ahead of trade and budget balance data.

At 0709 GMT, the rand traded at 17.8975 against the dollar, 0.33% stronger than its previous close.

"Volatility could pick up through the session as quarter-end portfolio rebalancing takes place, although the USD-ZAR is, by and large, expected to remain tethered to the 18.0000 handle," economists at ETM Analytics said in a note.

Investors in South Africa will be looking closely at August budget balance and trade balance figures due at 1200 GMT for clues on the health of the local economy.

On the stock market, the Top-40 and the broader all-share indexes rose around 0.8% in early trade.

The government's benchmark 2030 bond was stronger in early deals, with the yield down 10 basis points to 10.890%. (Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by Jan Harvey)