Johannesburg - The rand declined for a second day and bonds fell amid concern that strikes in the automobile and construction industries will weigh on growth and as tension in the Middle East damped investor demand for riskier assets.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria will be held accountable for using chemical weapons as the US and its allies move closer to a decision on retaliatory military strikes.
South Africa’s gross domestic product probably expanded an annualised 3.3 percent in the second quarter from 0.9 percent in the prior three months, a report may show at 11:30 a.m. local time, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
“Emerging-market currencies are under pressure,” John Cairns, a currency strategist at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, said in e-mailed comments.
“Add some risk aversion over Syria and the domestic strikes and the rand is being dragged weaker.”
The rand depreciated 0.6 percent to 10.3942 per dollar as of 9:40 a.m. in Johannesburg.
Yields on benchmark 10.5 percent bonds due December 2026 climbed 10 basis points, or 0.1 percentage point, to 8.61 percent.
Union officials representing 30,000 striking workers at carmakers including Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG will meet today to discuss a wage offer.
Strikes in the construction and airline industries are in a second day.
South Africa has been wracked by labor turmoil since last year, undermining growth in the continent’s biggest economy.
Foreign investors sold a net 612 million rand ($59 million of South African bonds yesterday, bringing outflows this month to 1.86 billion rand, according to JSE Ltd. data. - Bloomberg News