South African rand weakens against stronger dollar

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand weakened as the U.S. dollar firmed on Monday, but it was trading in a narrow range with no major local economic data releases to drive direction.

At 1527 GMT, the rand traded at 18.6950 against the dollar, 0.3% weaker than its previous close.

The dollar was last up about 0.1% against a basket of global currencies.

South Africa will release November retail sales figures and gold and mining production data later this week, providing more clues about the health of the economy.

Global focus is now on the annual World Economic Forum, which kicked off in Davos on Monday with participants expected to discuss current economic and geopolitical bottlenecks.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Top-40 index closed down about 0.9%. South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker, the yield up 5 basis points to 9.725%.

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Nellie Peyton; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)