South Africa’s rand weakened in early trade on Thursday as risk demand globally was stalled by a lack fresh progress on a US-China trade deal. Early in the morning, the rand was 0.16% weaker at 14.7760 per dollar versus an overnight close of 14.7350.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters, prompting an angry response from China warning it would take “firm counter measures”. That dimmed the ray of optimism that the two superpowers where nearing a deal, hurting risk demand as investors sought out safe-haven currencies and assets.
The closure of US markets for the Thanksgiving holiday is also likely to keep the rand on the back foot in low volume trade. Bonds were also weaker, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 adding 2 basis points to 8.45%.