South African rand slips as dollar recovers

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa’s rand weakened against a stronger dollar on Wednesday, as the greenback recovered from a sharp selloff last week.

The rand was trading at 18.4975 against the dollar at 1530 GMT, about 0.9% weaker than its previous close. It hit a weekly high of 18.5474 earlier in the day.

The dollar was last trading about 0.12% stronger against a basket of currencies, marking its third consecutive day of gains. The dollar fell last week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell made remarks that were interpreted by markets as dovish.

Powell did not comment on monetary policy during an event on Wednesday. He is also due to speak on Thursday.

Like other risk-sensitive currencies, the rand often takes its cues from global factors, such as the direction of U.S. monetary policy.

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange closed higher, with the blue-chip Top-40 index up about 1.4%.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger, with the yield down 8.5 basis points to 10.315%.

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Nellie Peyton; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Paul Simao)