The rand remained stuck at weaker levels on Tuesday as concerns over Chinese growth, continued geopolitical tension and poor local business confidence combined to keep investors nervous.

Many also remained on the sidelines ahead of important current account numbers on Wednesday.

The currency fell sharply on Friday after disappointing trade data in SA and has struggled to regain its composure.

The latest data on the current account deficit, set to be released on Wednesday by the Reserve Bank, could result in further weakness, according to analysts.

It is expected the currency could strengthen over the short term if the deficit falls to 5.5% of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 6.8%, but the outlook remains unclear.

At 4.14pm, the local unit was at R10.7766 to the dollar from Monday’s close of R10.7639. Against the euro, the rand was at R14.9365 from its previous close of R14.9320 and was at R17.9132 to the pound from R17.9037 on Monday.

The euro was at $1.3858 from $1.3876 previously.

A trader said the mood was negative, in line with other emerging market currencies, due to increased concern over Chinese growth. “We have seen fresh short positions in the rand since Friday.”

Because geopolitical tensions between the Ukraine and Russia continue, the currency is expected to remain under pressure.

Rand bearishness was not alleviated during the day with the BER/RMB business confidence data pointing to further negativity among manufacturers.