South African rand sheds some gains a day after cbank’s ‘hold’ decision

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -The South African rand weakened on Friday, giving back some gains from the previous session, when the central bank kept its main interest rate unchanged.

At 1544 GMT, the rand traded at 18.8550 against the dollar, 0.19% weaker than its previous close.

The dollar last traded around 0.4% weaker against a basket of global currencies.

South Africa’s central bank stuck to its previous hawkish tone on Thursday as it kept its main lending rate unchanged for the third meeting in a row, boosting the rand, despite inflation quickening in October.

“It remains difficult to turn overly optimistic on the rand over the longer term while South Africa continuously faces the destruction of economic activity and efficient infrastructure,” ETM Analytics said in a morning note.

Soaring interest rates and steep rises in food, transport and health costs force South Africans to prioritise essentials over luxury at this year’s Black Friday sales.

Next week investors will turn their attention to supply-side inflation when producer price index data is released.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the blue-chip Top-40 index closed around 0.5% higher.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker in late deals, with the yield up 7 basis point to 10.195%.

(Reporting by Tannur Anders and Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Louise Heavens)