Johannesburg - The rand retreated against the dollar in early Thursday trade, mainly reflecting the greenback's gains spurred by expectations of higher US interest rates this year.
Stocks opened softer at 09:00, with the JSE securities exchange's Top-40 index easing 0.4% from the previous day's levels.
The rand was at R15.4240/$, down 0.4% from its New York close on Wednesday.
Government bonds were similarly weak, with the yield for debt maturing in 2026 adding 4 basis points to 9.365%.
The rand took its cue from emerging Asian currencies, which slid as Federal Reserve officials fanned expectations of more US interest rate hikes later this year and China weakened the yuan.
Johannesburg traders and analysts expected the currency to remain on the back foot in thin trading ahead of the Easter holiday, which would see financial markets closed on Friday and Monday.
"With the long weekend approaching for many major markets around the world, risk appetite is slightly reduced," Standard Bank said in a note.
"Naturally the rand, and other EM currencies, are on the back foot into the long weekend," it added, predicting support for dollar/rand at $15.2000/R15.0600 and resistance around R15.4500/$5000.
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