Johannesburg - South Africa's rand struggled against the dollar on Friday after touching fresh four-year lows overnight on gloomy domestic economic prospects, with the next support level of 9.2 in sight if demand remains weak.
The rand was at 9.1650 to the dollar at 10:37 SA time, down 0.25 percent from Thursday's close.
The currency fell nearly 1 percent on Wednesday to 9.1895, its weakest since April 2009, weighed down by concerns over labour strife which have hit output in the mining sector, the latest victim being coal producer Exxaro.
“In an already fragile position generally, the economy can't afford any more strikes and the rand is going to remain under pressure because local issues are not supportive,” Absa Capital trader Duncan Howes said.
“We have broken some key technical levels on the top side and if we get above 9.20 we could extend even to 9.50. The only thing that could potentially slow the depreciation is if we see more positive external data and risk rallies and we see inflows into the bond market,” Howes added.
But government bonds were also sold in early Friday trade, with the yields on the benchmark 2026 paper and the shorter-dated 2015 issue each adding 1.5 basis points to 7.355 percent and 5.34 percent respectively. - Reuters