Johannesburg - South Africa's rand weakened against the dollar on Wednesday as a strike by 220,000 workers in the metals sector entered its third week and looked unlikely to be resolved soon.
The rand slipped 0.2 percent from its close in New York to 10.7300 at 07:55 SA time.
The local unit made modest gains against the US currency in the previous session buoyed by strong demand for government bonds, before retreating towards 10.75, a recent resistance level.
“Technically the rand is still within the longer term bull trend. However yesterday's move back below 10.6500 should delay the expected move to 10.96-11.00,” Standard Bank dealer Warrick Butler said in market note.
On Tuesday employers in the metals and engineering sector withdrew their offer of a 10 percent annual wage increase after striking union NUMSA maintained its demand for increases of between 12 and 15 percent.
The strike has disrupted the supply of components to automobile makers, pushing Toyota, GM and Ford to halt production at their assembly plants.
In fixed income, government bonds were broadly flat with the paper due in 2015 and the paper maturing in 2026 both adding 1.5 basis points to yields of 6.67 percent and 8.27 percent respectively. - Reuters