The rand fell for a 10th day in its longest losing streak in five years after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said monthly bond purchases may be slowed and South African clothing workers went on strike.
South Africa’s rand weakened for a sixth day, set for its longest losing streak in a year, on concern that falling commodity prices and labor unrest at mines are threatening the nation’s credit rating.
Slowing inflation and the rand’s recovery this quarter have traders giving South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus better-than-even odds of emulating her peers in Europe and Australia in cutting interest rates.
The rand is likely to strengthen almost 3 percent by month-end as foreign investors continue buying the country’s assets to benefit from their yield advantage over industrialized nations, said Rand Merchant Bank.
The rand weakened against the dollar, snapping a four-day advance, after talks on raising the U.S. debt limit failed, boosting the chance of a default and damping investor demand for riskier, emerging-market assets.
The rand declined for a third day, falling to a five-week low against the dollar, on investor concern that the nation’s current-account gap will widen as metal exports decline. Bond yields rose to two-week highs.
The rand weakened for a sixth day versus the dollar as Europe’s debt crisis threatened to deteriorate and China took more aggressive steps to cool its economy, curbing investor appetite for higher-yielding assets.