Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was steady against the dollar on Thursday but could come under pressure later in the session if producer price data indicates that inflationary pressures are building in Africa's largest economy.
The rand was at 9.9775 to the dollar at 08:45 SA time, little changed from its New York close on Wednesday.
Statistics South Africa will release producer price inflation (PPI) data for August at 11:30 SA time.
Economists polled by Reuters expect PPI to slow to 6.5 percent year-on-year in August from 6.6 percent in July.
The prospect of more strikes in the mining sector, a major earner of foreign currency, could dampen investor sentiment.
The head of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has said its members at major producer Anglo American Platinum will hold a strike on Friday to protest job cuts.
Strong economic data from the United States, where initial jobless claims and pending home sales figures will be released on Thursday, could also weigh on the rand.
“The rand is once again on the back foot and could weaken further today if this afternoon's US labour data prove to be better than expected,” Absa Capital analysts wrote in a note.
“An elevated domestic PPI reading today could also hinder the rand if it prompts foreign investors to shed more South African bond holdings.”
Government bond yields inched higher, gaining 7.5 basis points on the 2026 paper to 7.955 percent and 4 basis points on the 2015 issue to 6.04 percent. - Reuters