South Africa’s rand weakens as U.S.-China trade spat weighs

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand weakened early on Monday, slumping to its weakest in almost a week as a spike in trade tensions between China and the United States soured global risk demand.

At 0615 GMT the rand was 0.2% weaker at 15.3300 per dollar compared to a close at 15.3000 on Friday in New York, tracking its Asian counterparts lower as last week’s selloff that hit equities and risk currencies spilled into the new week

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday heaped an additional 5% duty on some $550 billion in targeted Chinese goods, just hours after China unveiled tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.

The rand has suffered in August, sliding around 12% as local pressures linked to the growing chance of a credit downgrade to junk by Moody’s, and uncertainty offshore, have stalled any long bets on the currency.

Africa’s most industrialised economy relies on exports to China and the United States for a bulk of its revenue, and the deepening spat between the two super powers risks denting the country’s already dim economic prospects.

Bonds were also weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 up 4.5 basis points to 8.32%.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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