South Africa’s rand slips after poor local manufacturing data

South Africa’s rand weakened past the threshold of 14.00 to the dollar early on Friday on data pointing to weak economic growth.

The rand had weakened by 0.48 percent to 14.0750 after closing at 14.0075 in New York.

Rand Merchant Bank analyst Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana said the rand was specifically suffering from evidence of weak growth i South Africa.

Data from Statistics South Africa released on Thursday showed that mining output was down 7.5 percent year-on-year in February, while manufacturing production barely grew, rising by 0.6 percent.

Ramkhelawan-Bhana added that political risk would become more apparent as national elections on May 8 approached.

“For now, the rand will trade off global happenings; this exposes it to two-way risk,” she said.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was up 2 basis points to 8.510 percent in early trade.

Meanwhile in the equities market, the Top-40 index inched up 0.05 percent to 51,965 points.