The rand weakened early on Thursday as growing bets on faster growth in the United States continued to strain demand for emerging market assets.
At 0630 GMT the rand was 0.37% weaker at R14.82 per dollar, giving up some of the gains of the previous session that saw it soar to a best of R14.72 as yield-seeking investors were cheered by a bigger-than-expected trade surplus.
Rising US Treasury yields and a rebound in the dollar spurred by President Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus plan and vaccination rollout has put risk demand under pressure, although the rand continued to find takers.
On Thursday the dollar held near a multi-month high against other major currencies.
“US President Biden’s announcement of a $2 trillion infrastructure plan yesterday is expected to support the reflation trade into the weekend, which means yesterday’s EM currency recovery may be short-lived,” said economists at ETM Analytics.
Bonds also weakened, with the yield on the benchmark 2020 paper up 3 basis to 9.515%.