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Rand slumps 1 percent as weak economy and Greece weigh

The rand was among the five weakest performers in a basket of 25 emerging market currencies.

FILE: The South African currency hit a session low of 12.2425 per dollar and was trading 1 percent weaker on the day at 12.2130 by 1534 GMT. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand fell more than one percent against the dollar on Friday as worries about the global impact of a possible Greek debt default added to investors' concerns about the weak outlook for Africa's most advanced economy.

The South African currency hit a session low of 12,2425 per dollar and was trading one percent weaker on the day at 12,2130 by 1534 GMT.

The rand was among the five weakest performers, including the Polish zloty, in a basket of 25 emerging market currencies tracked by Reuters.

Government debt followed suit, with the yield for paper maturing in 2026 adding eight basis points to 8,305 percent.

"Markets are still quite jittery over the prospect of a negative Greek outcome over the weekend," said Jana van Deventer, a market analyst at ETM.

"That the rand is underperforming all but one of its emerging market peers on the day just highlights how susceptible South Africa is to global risk sentiment."

The rand has given up nearly six percent against the dollar so far in 2015 as investors expecting a rise in US interest rates this year dump high-yielding but riskier emerging market assets.

South Africa's longstanding deficits on the current account and budget, as well as the worst electricity crunch in seven years, have rendered the rand particularly vulnerable during emerging market selloffs.