JOHANNESBURG – The Rand weakened against the dollar on Monday in line with other commodity currencies hit by a slide in oil prices.
The rand fell more than 1 percent to 14.7500 to the greenback and was trading 0.9 percent softer at 14.6935 by 0717 GMT, reversing some of its gains last week.
A deal to freeze oil output by OPEC and non-OPEC producers fell apart on Sunday, sending oil prices tumbling.
“The market will have enough to digest after this weekend’s headlines. I expect the rand to trade within a 14.58-14.78 range with possible weakness dominating for the course of the day,” Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said.
The rand has recouped most of the heavy losses incurred in December after President Jacob Zuma suddenly fired the finance minister, but remains vulnerable to global turmoil and the domestic threat of a credit rating downgrade.
In a speech delivered at the weekend, deputy central bank Governor Daniel Mminele said the steady depreciation of the rand over the last five years was of particular significance for monetary policy.
Government bonds were also weaker on Monday, with the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 up 1.5 basis points at 9.035 percent.
Stocks opened lower with the Top-40 index down 0.8 percent.