South African rand pares losses after key US inflation report

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa’s rand pared back some losses on Friday, after data showed annual U.S. inflation slowed further in November, fuelling hopes of an early interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

At 1409 GMT, the rand traded at 18.3950 against the dollar, down 0.15% from its previous close. It had weakened as much as 0.7% earlier in the day.

The personal consumption expenditures price index, a key inflation gauge used by the Fed, increased 2.6% in the 12 months through November after rising 2.9% in October, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis said on Friday.

The rand, like most emerging market currencies, tends to take cues from global factors such as the direction of U.S. monetary policy.

There were no major local economic indicators due in South Africa on Friday and the local markets are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the blue-chip Top-40 index was about 1.8% lower.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger, with the yield down 3 basis points at 9.745%.

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Varun H K and Toby Chopra)