Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was slightly weaker against the dollar on Friday and could suffer further losses if trade data due later in the session disappoints.

The rand was at 10.7250 to the dollar at 08:29 SA time, down 0.3 percent from Thursday's New York close.

The currency strengthened against the dollar on Thursday as market players digested the previous day's budget, which Moody's described as “mainly credit positive”.

Trade data for January will be released later in the session, with the market expecting a deficit after surpluses recorded in November and December.

“Given that we expect a larger trade deficit reading today, coupled with the fact that market positioning is no longer excessively short rand, we believe that there is significant risk of a renewed bout of rand weakness into the weekend,” Barclays Africa wrote in a note.

Government bonds were firmer, with the yield on the 2026 government bond declining 2 basis points to 8.555 percent while that on the 2015 paper was also 2 basis points lower at 7.12 percent. - Reuters