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CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s rand slipped to six-week lows early on Friday and government bonds weakened sharply, as slides in the Russian rouble and Turkish lira combined with escalating global trade tensions to knock sentiment towards emerging market assets.

The rand reached R13.83 to the greenback in morning trade, 0.86 percent weaker than its close on Thursday.

The currency had earlier in the session lost nearly 2 percent to R13.95, it weakest since June 28, according to Reuters data.

“The rand and other emerging market currencies are on the back foot as sentiment sours,” Rand Merchant Bank analysts said in a note, adding that this was due to “geopolitical concerns and the negative impact of the US-China trade spat on global growth”.

Analysts said Turkey’s lira and the Russian rouble were hit hardest in the sell-off.

Turkey’s lira hit a new record low against the U.S. dollar in early trade on Friday, as concerns over a widening rift with the US persisted after a Turkish delegation returned from talks in Washington with no apparent solutions to the crisis.

The rouble slid to two-year lows after Washington said it would impose fresh sanctions on Moscow.

In fixed income, the yield for South Africa’s benchmark 2026 bond was up 12 basis points to 8.805 percent.

- REUTERS