South Africa's rand weakens as China growth woes weigh


South Africa’s rand fell to its weakest in more than two weeks against the dollar on Friday as concerns about growth in China, a key importer of local commodities, overrode a boost from a domestic interest rate increase.

The rand was down 0.5 percent at 12.5300 to the greenback by 0637 GMT after ending the New York session on Thursday at 12.4675.

Government bonds followed suit, with the yield for debt due in 2026 adding 1.5 basis points to 8.13 percent.


Save for Russia’s rouble, the rand was the weakest performer in a basket of 25 emerging market currencies tracked by Thomson Reuters.

It was on track for a third straight daily loss despite the South African Reserve Bank raising interest rates by 25 basis points on Thursday to curb inflationary risks.

Commodity currencies in general were under pressure after a survey showed the factory sector in China contracted by the most in 15 months in July.

“The rand is on the back foot due to renewed concerns about China’s growth and the attendant impact on metals prices,” Rand Merchant Bank currency analyst John Cairns said in a note.

“The support from the rate hike was brief.”