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Rand hits record low against dollar

The rand fell to 14,03 to the US currency during the course of the day.

Local stocks failed to rally with European peers as big resource shares such as Anglo American capped gains on the overall market. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand fell more than 1 percent to a record low against the dollar on Thursday, weighed down by nagging concerns over sluggish domestic growth and the impact of slowing growth in China.

The rand fell to 14,0300 to the greenback at 1052 GMT, in thin trade as financial markets in South Africa were closed for a national holiday.

Local stocks failed to rally with European peers as big resource shares such as Anglo American capped gains on the overall market.

At 1546 GMT the rand was at 13,8550 per dollar, barely changed from Thursday's close at 13,8600.

The local unit had dropped to a record low of 14,0860 in the preceding session, a day after the South African Reserve Bank kept its benchmark repo rate unchanged at 6 percent.

Comments from Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen on Thursday that she expected the bank to begin raising rates later in 2015 added to pressure on emerging currencies like the rand.

Thursday's rand slide might have been exaggerated by Johannesburg traders' absence for Heritage Day holiday, one local dealer said.

"Things have also been quiet today as guys took the opportunity for a long weekend. Monday should bring more clarity and direction for the rand," he said.

On the local bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index closed down 0,22 percent to 44,963 while the wider All-share index ended 0,1 percent lower at 50,331.

"If it was not for some of the mining stocks we might have been better off. We certainly have lagged behind Europe but it is because of some big moves on some of the mining stocks," said Ferdi Heyneke, portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.

Mining and other resource sectors have been hammered this year by falling commodity prices.

Johannesburg-listed shares of global mining giant Anglo American fell 5,75 percent to 130,84 rand, the biggest blue-chip decliner on the day.

Government bonds slipped a bit on Friday, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 instrument issue adding 1 point to 8,49 percent.