South Africa's rand was little changed in early trade on Tuesday, with markets awaiting fresh direction from U.S. inflation and Federal Reserve meeting minutes due on Wednesday.

At 0628 GMT, the rand traded at 18.6150 against the U.S. dollar, about 0.1% stronger than its previous close. "Currency markets are trading sideways in tight ranges ahead of tomorrow's US inflation numbers and Fed FOMC minutes," Andre Cilliers, Currency Strategist at TreasuryONE, said.

"The rand remains stuck in its recent 18.50/18.80 range," and it could move back toward the upper end of that range in the short term, he added.

There were no economic data releases due in South Africa on Tuesday. Gold and mining production and manufacturing figures for February will be released on Thursday.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger in early deals, with the yield down 2 basis points to 10.565%. (Reporting by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Andrew Heavens)