JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The South African rand weakened on Friday, as rising expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) in May lent support to the dollar.
At 15:13 GMT, the rand traded at 18.0800 against the dollar, down 0.33% from its previous close.
The dollar was marginally firmer at 101.87 against a basket of global currencies, with money markets now pricing in a roughly 86% chance of a 25 bp hike next month despite jobless claims this week pointing to a slowing U.S.labour market.
The risk-sensitive rand often takes its cue from global factors like the outlook for U.S. monetary policy in the absence of major local drivers.
Next week, Statistics South Africa will publish the March producer price index, and the central bank will release its February leading business cycle indicator and biannual Monetary Policy Review.
Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange slipped, with both the broader all-share index and the blue-chip Top-40 index ending more than 1.2% lower.
The government’s benchmark 2030 bond was weaker, with the yield up 5 basis points at 10.120%.