South African rand slips against stronger dollar; stocks edge lower

The South African rand slipped on Monday against a stronger dollar as investors waited for local unemployment figures on Tuesday and the finance minister's budget speech on Wednesday.

The rand traded at 18.9800 against the dollar USDZAR by 1519 GMT, 0.45% weaker than its previous close.

The dollar DXY inched up around 0.1% against a basket of global currencies.

Statistics South Africa is scheduled to release fourth-quarter unemployment numbers around 0930 GMT on Tuesday. The official jobless rate fell to 31.9% in the third quarter of 2023 but remained among the highest in the world.

The main event of the week will be Wednesday's budget presentation, which will lay out the government's spending priorities, revenue collection measures and updated economic forecasts for the coming year.

"Given the economy's weak performance, we anticipate further fiscal slippage ... The finance minister will try to appease markets, but he will more than likely disappoint," Oxford Economics said in a note.

On the stock market, the Top-40 SA40 index closed 0.08% lower.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond (ZAR2030=) was weaker, with the yield up 4 basis points at 10.135%.

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