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Rand falls nearly 1%

The rand was down 0.91 percent at 10.7500 per dollar, just shy of a two-week low of 10.7700.

The South African rand. Picture: Craig Wynn/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened by almost 1 percent against dollar on Tuesday, threatening to break out of a recent range after the release of weak Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) numbers for July.

The rand was down 0.91 percent at 10.7500 per dollar, just shy of a two-week low of 10.7700.

July PMI slipped to 46.4 percent from 49.5, suggesting deteriorating confidence in the manufacturing sector. A figure below 50.0 suggests a contraction.

The rand touched a session low of 10.7615 before pulling back to recoup some of its losses.

Market watchers suggested that broader investor risk aversion, in lieu of any major data events, was responsible for pushing emerging currencies lower.

"The rand has gone lower in conjunction with everyone else. It's been a risk-off day," said Jim Bryson, a trader at Rand Merchant Bank. "It's been an emerging market sell-off day led by Russia."

Activity in Russia's service sector slowed down for the fifth straight month in July, reflecting the weakness of the economy as the West steps up sanctions over Ukraine. .

Yields on government bonds nudged up. The paper due in 2015 added 1.5 basis points to 6.675 percent, while yield on the 2026 paper climbed 3 basis points to 8.31 percent.