Johannesburg - The rand eased against the dollar on Thursday
after plunging 3% in the previous session as labour turmoil in the platinum
sector forced the world's largest producer to shut down some of its production.
The rand traded at R8.3544 at 06:57 GMT against the dollar,
weaker than Wednesday's New York close of R8.345, after recording its biggest
daily plunge in nearly three-months and took the currency to a week-low.
The labour unrest in the mining sector has been rumbling
since January, but took root on Wednesday with foreign investors, who were net
sellers of local bonds amid concerns the government is powerless to resolve the
"The concerns persist. We are not seeing foreign demand
for our bonds and by and large they're unlikely to participate while there's
uncertainty in the backdrop," said Brigid Taylor, Head of Institutional
Sales at Nedbank.
Government bond yields were up 3 basis points, with the
three-year bond yield at 5.52% and that on the longer-dated 14-year paper at
Germany's Constitutional Court gave the green light on
Wednesday for Berlin to ratify the eurozone's permanent rescue fund, a decision
that should underpin the euro - and by extension the rand because of South
Africa's strong trade links with Europe.
Signs of further US monetary easing by Federal Reserve
Chairperson Ben Bernanke might also help the rand claw back some lost ground.
"The other big thing that we're waiting for is the
Fed's decision," Taylor said.
"We expect Mr Bernanke to talk about some form of
easing, either pushing out the interest rates hike or any form of hike for an
extended period of time and doing some of extended buy-back programme.
*Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook,
Google+ and Pinterest.