South African rand weakens as markets brace for Fed

Credit: REUTERS/Thomas White

Updates prices to reflect afternoon trade

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 20 (Reuters) - The South African rand weakened against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday as financial markets braced for this week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting where an aggressive interest rate hike is expected.

At 1530 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 17.7100 against the dollar, 0.25% weaker than its previous close.

Local data showed that a composite leading business cycle indicator ZALEAD=ECI decreased 1.0% month-on-month in July.

Investec economist Annabel Bishop said in a research note that power cuts intensified in the third quarter, reducing the average hours worked per factory worker in manufacturing, and afflicting other activities such as the number of building plans approved.

Stocks edged cautiously higher on Tuesday ahead of the expected Fed rate hike, with declines in gold miners preventing meaningful gains.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Top-40 .JTOPI index rose 0.25%, while the broader all-share .JALSH ended 0.19% higher.

The government's benchmark 2030 bond ZAR2030= was weaker in afternoon trade, with the yield rising 9.5 basis points to 10.535%.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning, Nqobile Dludla and Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jonathan Oatis)


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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