South African rand weakens in cautious trade

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand weakened early on Tuesday, remaining on the back foot after a national holiday that kept liquidity low and investors tentative ahead of local manufacturing data.

At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.07% weaker at 17.7000 per dollar, having touched 17.7800 overnight, its weakest level in close to 12 weeks.

The currency has suffered sharp losses in the past two weeks, losing around 8% of its value against the dollar as sentiment towards emerging market currencies soured with a pickup in the global economy seeming to be slower than initially hoped.

In the past session, stalled talks in the U.S. Congress over a stimulus deal kept investors cautious, leaving the rand with little forward momentum.

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