Economic news

ZAR Slips ahead of CPI Data, Rate Decision next Week

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 15 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand edged lower against the dollar on Friday, weighed down by a worsening power crisis, ahead of local inflation figures and an interest rate decision next week.

At 1538 GMT, the rand traded at 19.0550 against the dollar, over 0.1% weaker than its previous close.

While state power utility Eskom reduced the intensity of power cuts for the weekend, the possibility of higher levels of power cuts than the "Stage 6" experienced by South Africans for the better part of the week has fuelled investor concerns.

The rand had also lost ground on Thursday after mining figures showed an unexpected drop in production in July.

South African investors will be looking towards August inflation figures on Wednesday and an interest rate decision by the central bank on Thursday.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect the South African Reserve Bank to keep interest rates on hold at its Sept. 21 meeting.

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange rose, with both the broader all-share index and the blue-chip Top-40 index closing more than 0.3% higher.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker, with the yield up 3.5 basis points at 10.475%.

Reporting by Nellie Peyton and Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Alison Williams

Source: Reuters

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