The South African rand firmed in early trade on Wednesday ahead of December retail sales figures, after weakening more than 1% against the dollar the day before.

At 0747 GMT, the rand traded at 19.1000 against the dollar , 0.2% stronger than its previous close.

The dollar was little changed against a basket of global currencies. It had reached a three-month peak on Tuesday after U.S. inflation rose more than expected, reinforcing expectations that the Federal Reserve will hold interest rates in March.

Statistics South Africa will release December retail sales figures at 1100 GMT. Economists polled by Reuters are expecting a decrease of 0.7% year-on-year.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Top-40 index was down 0.2%. South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was marginally weaker, with the yield up 1 basis point to 10.120%.

(Reporting by Nellie Peyton Editing by Alexander Winning)