South Africa’s rand fell more than one per cent against the dollar on Monday as the looming prospect of a default by debt-ridden Greece sent investors scurrying from risky assets.
The rand briefly plumbed a session low of 12.4100 per dollar before coming back to 12.2850 by 0642 GMT, down 0.66 percent from Friday’s close in New York.
Government bonds also fell sharply, with the yield for paper maturing in 2026 hitting a two-week high of 8.445 per cent.
It was eight basis points higher at 8.39 per cent by 0642 GMT compared to where it ended Friday’s session.
The sell-off in local assets reflected global market moves, with the euro down sharply on the day in Asian trading after Greece failed to strike a deal with its lenders, taking it a step closer to a debt default.
“The market is going to be really nervous during the early morning session and the rand could easily trade up to 12.40 again just as easily as it could dip to 12.20 depending on headline news,” Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said.
“What does look certain is the more medium-term picture where the likelihood of a move back to the previous high of 12.71 is inevitable with our long-term goal of 12.80-13.00 still very much on the cards before the end of the year.”