Johannesburg – The rand was softer on Thursday against the dollar, tracking a weaker euro and as the local unit struggles to recover from weak GDP numbers that signal Africa’s most advanced economy could go into recession this year.
Tensions in Ukraine and Russia have also pressured risky assets like the rand, and most emerging market currencies tracked by Reuters were trading weaker against the dollar early on Thursday.
The rand fell 0.2% to R10.4820/$ at 08:48. It earlier hit a session low at R10.4930, not too far off a three-week low tested in the previous session.
Dealers said they expected the rand to come under further pressure if US economic growth data later in the day beats expectations.
The April producer price inflation data will be released at 11:30 which is expected to show prices rose on a year-on-year basis.
The yield on the R186 benchmark issue nudged down 1.5 basis points to 8.24%, while the shorter-dated R157 ticked 1 basis point lower to 6.625%.
Assets are also under pressure from a crippling platinum strike now in its eighteenth week. New mines minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said on Wednesday the deadlock in the country’s longest and costliest work stoppage would soon be broken as movement has been made on both sides.