Johannesburg - The rand hit a three-month high against the dollar on Friday, gaining in a knee-jerk reaction to a US jobs report that slightly missed market expectations, and taking bond yields lower.

South Africa's currency hit its strongest in the session after a US labour report showed the world's biggest economy added 8,000 less non-farm jobs than forecast, disappointing some market players who had expected a strong rebound from poor weather conditions.

The rand was up 1 percent at 10.5440/dollar by 17:52 SA time, coming back from a session best of 10.5020, levels last seen on Jan. 2.

It was the second best performing unit, after the Brazilian real, in a basket of emerging market currencies trading against the dollar and tracked by Reuters, after days of underperforming its peers.

“The rand is just testing 10.50. All emerging markets seem to be doing quite well on the back of this non-farm payroll announcement,” Jim Bryson, currency trader at Rand Merchant Bank said, adding that a break through 10.48 resistance would open up further gains for the rand.

The local unit has previously found the 10.47-50 area a tough level to get beyond.

Government bonds tracked the currency higher, with the 2026 benchmark yield down 11.5 basis points to 8.405 percent, while the shorter date 2015 note gave up 5.5 basis points to 6.735 percent. - Reuters