Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was trading at three-week highs on Friday as dollar weakness helped the currency of Africa's biggest economy firm beyond the key 11 to the dollar level.

The rand was at 10.8700 to the dollar at 17:22 SA time, nearly 1 percent stronger than Thursday's New York close, its best performance since the end of January.

Disappointing US data on Thursday has kept the dollar on a weaker footing and the dollar index slid to a low of 80.065 on Friday, its lowest since the start of the year.

“The dollar is pretty weak today and that's helping us. If the dollar remains weak there's all the chance that we could strengthen next week,” said Bidvest Bank chief dealer Ion de Vleeschauwer.

“We need to close below 10.90 before we can say there will be any sort of short-term strength in (the rand).”

The yield on the 2026 government bond declined 10 basis points to 8.665 percent while that on the 2015 paper was 2.5 basis points lower at 7.14 percent. - Reuters