Johannesburg - The South African rand firmed slightly on Friday, reversing recent losses after hitting a week low in the previous session on news metal union NUMSA plans to go on strike on July 1.

The rand opened 0.13 percent stronger from its New York close at 10.6215 rand by 08:18 SA time.

The local unit weakened around 0.8 percent on Thursday after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the country's largest union with over 200,000 members, said it would down tools next week.

The strike would hit sectors including engineering, automotive components and the struggling state-power utility firm Eskom and risks souring investor sentiment soon after a five-month work-stoppage in the platinum sector that dragged Africa's most developed economy into contraction.

“While some expect this walkout to last only 2 weeks, employees are willing to go much longer given precedence set by platinum strike,” NKC Research said in an economic report.

Government bond yields were flat, with the yield for the bond maturing next year slipping unmoved at 6.685 percent while the 2026 issue remained at 8.315 percent. - Reuters