South Africa's rand weakens, eyes on U.S. jobs data

South Africa's rand weakens, eyes on U.S. jobs data
A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand was on the back foot in early trade on Friday as the dollar stood firm ahead of U.S. job data due later in the day.

At 0638 GMT, the rand traded at 13.7075 per dollar, 0.2 percent weaker than its New York close on Thursday.

"The dollar is gaining again, risking further upside pressures on USD/ZAR as well as the crosses; but, ultimately, today's moves will come down mostly to this afternoon's U.S. non-farm payrolls data," Rand Merchant Bank currency analyst John Cairns wrote in a note. 

The rand - along with other emerging market currencies - have come under pressure in recent weeks as solid U.S. economic data, the prospect of U.S. tax cuts and growing expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December have given a lift to the dollar.

Friday's U.S. employment data is expected to show a slowdown in jobs growth, reflecting the effects from Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange's Top-40 futures index up 0.28 percent.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond was up 2.5 basis points to 8.675 percent.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo)

2017-10-06 09:15:39

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