Rand largely flat, strikes a concern

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NewRandMoney Reuters.

Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was slightly weaker against the dollar on Friday as ongoing strikes dented investor appetite for local assets, although losses were capped by a holiday in the United States.

The rand treaded a narrow four-cent band during the session and was just 0.14 percent softer at 10.7640 by 18:14 SA time compared with Thursday's close.

“Our South African fundamentals are very much rand negative, what with the strikes,” said a trader with a Johannesburg investment bank, adding that trade was slow due to the US holiday.

More than 200,000 metal and engineering workers from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa were on strike for a fourth day on Friday to press for a 15 percent wage increase.

The walkout, which has been hit by violence at some picket lines, has dealt a further blow to an economy damaged by a five-month strike in the platinum industry that only ended last week.

Government bonds held up slightly better than the currency, with yields for the 2026 and 2015 benchmarks dipping 2 basis points each to 8.395 percent and 6.74 percent respectively. - Reuters

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