South African rand firms against weaker dollar

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand strengthened on Friday as the U.S. dollar slipped from a six-month high reached the day before.

At 0636 GMT, the rand traded at 18.9800 against the dollar, about 0.3% stronger than its previous close.

The dollar index was last down 0.18% against a basket of currencies.

The rand was little changed since the start of the week, although it lost ground on Thursday after mining figures showed an unexpected drop in production in July.

The rand is likely to take direction from the dollar’s performance on Friday, analysts said, with no major economic events scheduled at home.

South African investors will be looking towards local inflation figures and an interest rate decision by the central bank next week.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect the South African Reserve Bank to keep interest rates on hold at its Sept. 21 meeting.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was slightly weaker in early deals, with the yield up 1 basis point at 10.450%.

(Reporting by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Alison Williams)