Rand eases as Numsa strike talks stall

The local unit was down 0,3 percent on the session after earlier posting modest gains.

The local unit was down 0,3 percent on the session after earlier posting modest gains against the dollar. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand eased against the dollar on Tuesday as prospects for an end to a strike in the metals sector dimmed, with employers withdrawing a final wage offer made to employees.

Companies in the metals and manufacturing sector retracted their offer of a 10 percent wage offer to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, which is seeking annual increases of between 12 and 15 percent on behalf of its 220,000 members.

The strike has hit the operations of automobile makers as well as manufacturing and construction businesses

The rand was down 0,3 percent on the session after earlier posting modest gains versus the greenback on the back of stronger-than-expected US retail sales numbers.

Dealers said the currency was unlikely to make any major moves outside its recent trading range ahead of a monetary policy decision on Thursday.

"US retail sales data came out a little stronger and the rand started to strengthen. But there's not much in it. It will remain pretty much in the 10,60/65 range," said Ian Martin, a rand trader at Rand Merchant Bank.

Government bonds also strengthened, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 shedding 7 basis points to 8,255 percent and outperforming the shorter-dated paper due in 2015 which dropped 1,5 basis points to 6,665 percent.