S.Africa's rand weakens further ahead of current account data

The rand extended losses on Thursday ahead of the release of current account data that could add to South Africa’s woes after its economy slipped into recession for the first time in nearly a decade.

At 0640 GMT the rand was 0.62 percent weaker at 15.5300 per dollar compared to a close of 15.4350 overnight in New York.

The central bank publishes second quarter current account figures at 0900 GMT, a number that will be closely watched by investors to gauge just how vulnerable South Africa is to a sharp outflow of funds.

In the first quarter the deficit swung to 4.8 percent of gross domestic product, its widest in two years. A Reuters poll expects the second quarter figure to narrow to a 3.4 percent shortfall.

The rand is down nearly four percent since Tuesday’s GDP release and is seen by analysts testing the 16.00 mark amid continued local and global pressures. Bonds have also taken a bashing, with the yield on benchmark government paper due in 2026 up 4.5 basis points in early trade to 9.255 percent.

Stocks were set to open lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index down 0.6 percent. - Reuters