Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was trading near one-month lows on Friday, weighed down by the previous day's disappointing trade figures and facing a stronger dollar buoyed by upbeat US economic data.
The rand was at 10.0400 to the dollar at 08:36 SA time, 0.2 percent firmer than its New York close on Thursday.
It hit a low of 10.0695 earlier in the session, its weakest level since the beginning of October.
Data on Thursday showed that South Africa's trade shortfall narrowed only slightly in September to 18.94 billion rand ($1.9 billion), after a 19.05 billion rand deficit in August.
The trade gap was larger than the 16.35 billion rand shortfall expected by economists.
The cumulative trade deficit for 2013 now stands at 126.37 billion rand, compared to 83.6 billion in 2012.
“Running such large deficits means that the rand will remain stuck in a position of being heavily reliant on external funding for a while to come,” Tradition Analytics wrote in a briefing note.
The dollar's strong performance also contributed to the rand's weakness.
The greenback strengthened on Thursday after data showed the pace of business activity in the US Midwest jumped more than expected in October, easing fears about sluggish fourth-quarter growth in the wake of last month's federal government shutdown.
The yield on the 2026 South African government bond gained 6.5 basis points to 8.07 percent while that on the 2015 paper was 6 basis points higher at 5.92 percent. - Reuters