South African rand slips ahead of US inflation data

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa’s rand weakened on Tuesday, as dollar gained ahead of a highly anticipated reading on U.S. inflation due later this week.

At 1535 GMT, the rand traded at 18.6600 against the dollar, 0.3% lower than its previous close.

The dollar was last up around 0.14% at 102.44 against a basket of currencies.

On Thursday, the December U.S. inflation reading is expected to provide some clarity on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy outlook, which often determines direction for emerging market currencies like the rand.

Monthly manufacturing data due on Thursday will give clues on the health of the local economy.

Stocks on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange slipped, with the blue-chip Top-40 index closing 0.6% lower.

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger, with the yield down 11.5 basis points at 9.72%.

(Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian and Bhargav Acharya;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Jonathan Oatis)