Johannesburg - South Africa's rand retreated 1 percent on Friday to a two-week low against the dollar, weighed down by the start of a strike at Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) mines.
The rand hit a session low of 10.1700 per dollar, its lowest since September 6.
By 16:30 SA time, it was trading at 10.0970, 1.02 percent softer than its 9.9950 New York close on Thursday.
Resolution of a multi-week strike by petrol station workers failed to soothe the currency as members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) laid down their tools in protest against planned job cuts in the platinum mines.
South Africa has endured protracted labour unrest in several key sectors for the last few months, hurting Africa's largest economy and keeping the rand on the back foot.
Dealers were also wary of hanging on to high-yielding but riskier currencies such as the rand going into the weekend without agreement in the US congress over a new debt ceiling, which could affect the recovery of the world's largest economy.
Government bonds weakened, with the yields on the 2026 market benchmark rising 8 basis points to 7.995 percent and the 2015 paper up 11 basis points to 6.11 percent.
“Normally we see quite a strong tie of local bond yields to the US bond market but that's broken down somewhat today with Treasury yields holding their low levels while local bond yields have risen,” said Sean McCalgan, a market analyst at ETM.
“The rand has definitely encouraged some end-of-the-week profit taking on bonds.”
South Africa sold a combined 800 million rand ($78 million) of its 2025, 2028 and 2046 inflation-linked bonds at a weekly Friday auction. - Reuters