South African rand weakens against stronger dollar

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa’s rand weakened on Thursday against a stronger dollar as data painted a mixed picture of the U.S. economy.

At 1544 GMT, the rand traded at 18.9300 against the dollar, nearly 1.3% weaker from its previous close.

South Africa’s July producer inflation and trade figures did little to prop up its currency, with the rand taking cues from the stronger dollar.

South Africa recorded a trade surplus of 15.96 billion rand ($849.53 million) in July, revenue service figures showed, while the statistics agency said the country’s producer inflation slowed to 2.7% year on year in July from 4.8% in June.

The dollar index was last up nearly 0.6% against a basket of other major currencies.

U.S. consumer spending accelerated in July with an 0.8% increase, but slowing inflation fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve would leave interest rates unchanged next month.

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange fell, with the blue-chip Top 40 index closing 0.34% lower.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond fell, sending its yield up 7 basis points to 10.275%.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Bhargav AcharyaEditing by Kirsten Donovan)