S.African rand at 3-1/2 week lows, stocks open weaker - CNBC Africa

S.African rand at 3-1/2 week lows, stocks open weaker

Southern Africa

by Reuters 0

S.African rand at 3-1/2 week lows, stocks open weaker. PHOTO: Wikipedia

South Africa's rand fell as much as 0.8 percent against the dollar early on Wednesday, reaching its weakest level in more than three weeks as a gloomy domestic economic outlook weighs.

The local bourse also got off to a weak start, with the Top-40 index shedding 0.88 percent while the broader all-share index was down 0.78 percent.

The rand slid to a session low of 15.7600 per dollar, its softest since tumbling to a record-breaking 16.0485 on Dec. 11 after President Jacob Zuma unexpectedly fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

By 0706 GMT the local unit was at 15.7450, down 0.72 percent from Tuesday's close.

Zuma's move last month rattled investors already worried about sluggish growth in Africa's second largest and most industrialised economy.

"Amid relatively thin trading conditions, rand looks set to test resistance around the psychological 16.0000/dollar level soon," NKC African Economics said in a research note, predicting a 15.6500-15.8500 range for Wednesday.

Government bonds were flat in early trade, and the yield on South Africa's benchmark 2026 issue was unchanged from Tuesday's 9.645 percent close.