South Africa’s rand, govt bonds weaker on dollar pressures

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand gave up its gains against the dollar on Friday, as the greenback strengthened with jobless claims data easing concern over the state of the U.S. economy.

At 1448 GMT the rand was trading 0.32 percent softer at 11.9885 to the dollar compared with its closing level on Thursday. The rand hit an intraday low of 12.0580/dollar during the session, its weakest level since April 1.

“It’s all dollar driven to a larger extent,” said Ion de Vleeschauwer, chief currency dealer at Bidvest Bank.

“We also keep watching the dollar against the euro. So any sign of dollar weakness there then the rand will regain a bit of strength,” he added.

The local unit touched a month-high of 11.6950 on Monday, after weak U.S. jobs numbers weighed on the dollar, but it has failed to hold on to gains.

The dollar was also driven higher by sentiment that U.S. interest rates inevitably will rise, with the prospect of a June increase still in the mix despite spotty economic data.

Government bonds weakened with the currency, and the yield for the 2026 benchmark up 7.5 basis points to 7.710 percent.

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