The South African rand fell in early trade on Thursday, hurt by dollar strength linked to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell walking back the idea of a US interest rate cut back in March.
At 0725 GMT, the rand was trading at 18.7700 against the dollar, about 0.5% weaker than its previous close.
The dollar rose about 0.2% against a basket of global currencies, adding to Wednesday’s gains, when Powell made the comments after Fed officials left rates unchanged but a long-standing hint at possible further increases in borrowing costs dropped.
The rand is highly sensitive to shifts in the outlook for US interest rates and global risk appetite.
Local economic data due Thursday will include a purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector and car sales figures.
The Top-40 index of the Johannesburg stock exchange fell by 1.2%. The benchmark 2030 government bond also fell, with its yield rising 4 basis points to 9.79%.