South Africa's rand slips as U.S. Fed hike bets return - CNBC Africa

South Africa's rand slips as U.S. Fed hike bets return


by Reuters 0

South Africa's rand slips as U.S. Fed hike bets return. PHOTO: Reuters

South Africa's rand traded weaker against the dollar early on Monday after the Federal Reserve's vice chairman suggested over the weekend that the United States may raise rates in September.

At 0630 GMT the rand eased 0.14 percent to 13.3275 per dollar, extending losses to a third straight session following a modest recovery from last week's all-time low.

The unit collapsed to 14.00 versus the greenback last Monday on the back of a global stocks sell-off triggered by concerns over China's slowing economy as well as the timing of rate hike in the U.S.

"The week ahead could be telling for the S.A. currency as market players turn their gaze away from China and back to U.S. Fed," analysts at NKC African Economics said in a note.

The Federal Reserve's vice chairman said on Saturday inflation was likely to rebound as pressure from the dollar faded, allowing the bank to raise interest rates gradually.

Concerns of a "taper tantrum", similar to 2013 when investors pulled out of emerging markets after the U.S. ended its massive bond-buying program, look set to keep currencies in those economies on the back foot, traders said.

A slew of data from the U.S. this week ending with employment numbers on Friday will be searched for clues on the Fed's next move.

Locally, trade data due later in the session is expected to provide opportunity to gauge South Africa's vulnerability to foreign portfolio outflows.

Yields on government bonds were higher in early trade, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 adding 2 basis points to 8.365 percent.