Rand Weakens as Dollar Gains on Inflation Data Bets

The South African rand fell on Monday as the dollar strengthened on expectations that U.S. inflation data this week will support the Federal Reserve’s view that interest rates should rise.

A 1% decline in the rand was seen against the dollar, trading at 15.7200.

U.S. inflation figures are due on Wednesday, with consumer price inflation expected to rise to 7% from 6%, making a case for increasing rates sooner rather than later.

The dollar gained 0.5% against a basket of currencies.

South Africa has a relatively light economic data calendar this week, so the rand will largely follow global markets. The data on domestic manufacturing for November, due on Tuesday, may provide the best indication of the economy’s status.

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After a strong start, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s shares slipped later in the day.

The Fed’s tightening of monetary policy, expected to start in March, would mark the end of an era of ‘easy money’ that benefited emerging market stocks, which reached record highs last year.

Indexes of top 40 companies were down 0.2% to 67,114 points while the benchmark all-share index fell by 0.15% to 73,830 points.

The yield of the government’s benchmark 2030 bond also increased 8 basis points to 9.485%.

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