Johannesburg - The rand remained under pressure on Friday with early June’s three year lows within easy reach as investors fretted over strikes that began in the mining sector but which appear to be spreading to other parts of Africa’s biggest economy.
The rand was at R8.5750/$ by 08:44, down 0.7% from Thursday’s close at R8.5160.
It briefly touched an 18-week low of R8.5918, taking it closer to a three-year low of R8.71 touched on June 1.
“We are being driven by continued bad news on the labour front. Any good news would be helpful,” RMB trader Jim Bryson said.
“We have had quite a quick run up (rand weakening) from last Friday and we’re most probably needing to set a new high today, a break of 8.55, otherwise we might start to consolidate a little bit, get into something like an 8.40 - 8.55 range.
“But certainly above 8.55 look for the weakness to continue to something like 8.60 and 8.70 most probably.”
South Africa’s investment image has taken a knock and local assets have been battered due to mostly illegal strikes that hit platinum mines in August and spread to the manufacturing sector for the first time this week.
Government bonds fell alongside the rand on Friday, and the yield on the three-year benchmark added two basis points to 5.34% while that for the 14-year issue was up five basis points at 7.575%.
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