South African rand regains ground against dollar

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -The South African rand regained lost ground on Friday against the U.S. dollar while global focus remained on conflict in the Middle East.

At 1505 GMT, the rand traded at 18.9350 against the dollar, over 0.5% weaker than its previous close. The rand had weakened in the past couple of days on soaring U.S. Treasury yields and a sharp spike in local inflation.

The dollar last traded around 0.07% weaker against a basket of global currencies.

“Global markets are volatile, which creates risks of spillover, but overall, the rand seems unlikely to go very far in either direction,” analysts at Rand Merchant Bank said in a note earlier.

Local investors will turn their attention towards monthly producer price inflation figures next week for clues on the health of Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange closed lower, with the blue-chip Top-40 index down 1.1%.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger in early deals, with the yield down 8.5 basis points to 10.800%.

(Reporting by Tannur Anders ans Bhargav Acharya, editing by Deborah Kyvrikosaios and Ed Osmond)