Rand dragged down by stronger dollar

The South African rand was weaker in early trade on Friday, dragged down by a stronger dollar as Federal Reserve officials continued to talk up the need for further interest rate hikes.

At 0620 GMT, the rand traded at R16.92 against the dollar, down more than 0.2% on its previous close.

The rand has now lost more than 4% against the dollar this week as the US currency has forged higher on global markets.

A surprise fall in local retail sales in June and power cuts by struggling state-owned power utility Eskom have also weighed on the rand this week.

No major domestic economic data releases are due on Friday, meaning the rand will probably move on global drivers.

But next week the data calendar includes July consumer and producer inflation, second-quarter unemployment and a leading business cycle indicator.

The South African government’s benchmark 2030 bond was weaker in early deals, with the yield up 4.5 basis points to 10.23%.

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