South African rand weakens again after big drop

(Reuters) – The South African rand fell again on Wednesday after a big drop the day before when the U.S. dollar posted its best daily performance since March 2023.

At 1547 GMT, the rand traded at 18.8250 against the dollar, nearly 1.4% weaker than its previous close.

On Tuesday, the first trading day of 2024, the rand ended about 1.5% weaker against the dollar, as elevated U.S. Treasury yields and a cautious turn in risk sentiment boosted the dollar.

The dollar was last up 0.44% at 102.68 against a basket of currencies.

No major South African economic data releases were due on Wednesday. On Thursday a whole-economy purchasing managers’ index survey will be published.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index closed 1.8% lower. The benchmark 2030 government bond slipped, the yield up 6 basis points to 9.915%.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Jonathan Oatis)