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Rand slips to 2-week low as Middle East tensions sour risk demand

The local currency tracked its Asian peers lower after US air strikes on Baghdad airport killed senior Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, stoking tensions in the Middle East and lifting the price of oil.

South African rand.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand was weaker early on Friday, continuing a trend from the previous session, as investors fled risky assets after a U.S. air strike on Baghdad airport killed a top Iranian military commander.

At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.73% weaker at R14.1950 to the dollar, its softest level since 23 December, compared to an overnight close of R14.0880.

The local currency tracked its Asian peers lower after US air strikes on Baghdad airport killed senior Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, stoking tensions in the Middle East and lifting the price of oil.

Bonds also weakened, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 paper up 5.5 basis points to 8.265%.

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