THE South African rand fell on Monday, as investors bet the U.S. Federal Reserve will announce that it will wrap up its bond purchases sooner than expected at a meeting this week.
At 1644 GMT, the rand traded at 16.0075 against the dollar, around 0.2% weaker than its previous close, with concerns about a surge in domestic COVID-19 cases also weighing on the rand.
The dollar (.DXY) was 0.2% stronger against a basket of currencies.
The Fed’s two-day gathering wraps up on Wednesday, with clues about the timing of interest rate increases next year also in focus.
A flurry of South African economic data releases including the November consumer price index (ZACPIY=ECI), producer inflation (ZAPPIY=ECI) and a leading business cycle indicator (ZALEAD=ECI) are also due on Wednesday.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 government bond was down 1 basis point to 9.48%.
Stocks fell slightly, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 Index (.JTOPI) slipping 0.33% to 65,177 points and the broader All-Share Index (.JALSH) losing 0.36% to 71,430 points.
Retailer Shoprite (SHPJ.J) rose 1.71%. It said on Monday it had entered into a joint venture agreement with a delivery partner in a drive to grow its e-commerce business.
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