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Rand on the retreat as China data weighs

The unit fell as far back as 11.0900 in early trade, a level last touched on 20 October.

FILE:The rand kicked-off the week on the back foot on Monday as the currency slipped to its weakest level in two weeks against a bullish dollar. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand kicked-off the week on the back foot on Monday as the currency slipped to its weakest level in two weeks against a bullish dollar.

The unit fell as far back as 11.0900 in early trade, a level last touched on 20 October as data from China signalled that demand for exports from the world's second-largest economy, and a key trade partner for South Africa, was likely to decrease.

The rand managed a slight recovery, and by 1500 GMT traded at 11.0615 per dollar, 0.24 percent weaker than its last bid in New York.

Meanwhile the dollar index raced to four-year highs against major currencies, compounding the pain of a sell-off in emerging market currencies that saw the rand lose over 1 percent last Friday.

The rand is expected to remain under pressure this week after state-owned power utility Eskom instituted rolling black-outs over the weekend and said on Monday that electricity supply would be stretched.

"It doesn't seem to have had much of an impact on the rand so far but there are a lot of people worried about it," said John Cairns of Rand Merchant Bank. "It could come into market focus as the week progresses."

Local bonds were also weaker, with the yield on the benchmark issue due in 2026 edging up 4.5 basis points to 7.935 percent.