South African rand weakens as dollar steadies

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa’s rand weakened against the U.S. dollar on Monday, giving back some of last week’s gains as the dollar steadied.

At 1434 GMT, the rand traded at 18.5250 against the U.S. dollar, about 1.2% weaker than its previous close.

The dollar index was last down 0.15% at 102.470. The greenback had fallen sharply last week after the Federal Reserve signalled the possibility of interest rate cuts next year.

Global markets are expected to take direction this week from the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy decision on Tuesday and the U.S. PCE price index inflation number on Friday.

There are no major upcoming data releases in South Africa.

The rand could strengthen in the coming week as export dollars continue to flow into the market from the mines, while importer demand dries up due to seasonal factors, said ETM Analytics in a research note.

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange fell, with the blue-chip Top-40 index last trading about 1.2% lower.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger, with the yield down 12 basis points at 9.650%.

(Reporting by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Alison Williams)