South Africa’s rand weakens as country’s presidential elections approach

PUBLISHED: Fri, 03 May 2019 13:08:57 GMT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand was little changed early on Friday as limited liquidity after a mid-week holiday, closed Asian markets and upcoming national elections kept investors on the sidelines.

At 0630 GMT the rand was 0.09 percent weaker at 14.5525 per dollar after dipping to 14.5675 overnight, as the market focussed on U.S. job numbers due later in the session.

The dollar strengthened as markets scaled back bets the Fed would cut rates. Some traders speculated the jobs data would come in stronger than expected, putting emerging-market currencies under more pressure.

South Africans vote next week, and while an all-out victory for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ruling African National Congress looks certain, the margin of the victory remains uncertain as the country tries to emerge from of a decade-long growth slump.

Bonds were also weaker, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year debt adding 2.5 basis points to 8.635 percent.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, editing by Larry King

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