Rand weaker as inflation turns, petrol price spikes
At 1515 GMT, the rand had slipped 0,07 percent to 12,0085 per dollar.
JOHANNESBURG - The rand edged weaker against the dollar on Friday, remaining poised to move either way with inflationary headwinds gathering and threatening the currency's recent modest rebound.
At 1515 GMT, the rand had slipped 0,07 percent to 12,0085 per dollar, retreating beyond the psychologically important 12,000 mark after a week of modest gains that saw the currency climb as high as 11,7550.
"The oversold position on the rand last week was expected to capitulate, and we saw the rand come all the way back to the 11,80's and 11,79, 11.78. But then it picked up to 12,000, a very strong oscillation point," said Cheslyn Francis of Afrifocus Securities.
The rand added to its slight losses on Thursday after the South African Reserve Bank, balancing a deteriorating inflation outlook with concerns over weak growth, kept interest rates unchanged.
The bank said it expected inflation to average 4,8 percent in 2015, from a previous forecast of 3,8 percent. Petrol prices will shoot up 14 percent next month, the government said on Friday, adding pressure on consumer prices.
Francis, a derivatives trader, said a rate hike later this year was likely if the rand weakened substantially, and if the US central bank turned hawkish.
Federal Reserve officials signalled this week they were still on track to raise interest rates this year. Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech tonight will also be closely watched for clues on the timing of a rate hike.
Government bonds were weaker, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 adding one basis point to 7,82 percent.