The rand declined for a second day as stocks and commodity prices fell after renewed concern about Europe’s debt crisis damped demand for higher-yielding assets.
South Africa’s currency weakened 0.3 percent to 8.9395 per dollar as of 8:08 a.m. in Johannesburg. Yields on 6.75 percent bonds due March 2021 were unchanged at 6.50 percent after rising one basis point yesterday.
Spanish 10-year bond yields rose to a seven-week high as the nation’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faces corruption allegations. Rates on Italian debt climbed before elections this month. Europe is South Africa’s biggest regional trading partner, buying about 25 percent of the nation’s exports, according to government data.
“For the first time in months, markets are reacting to European risks,” John Cairns, a currency strategist at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, wrote in e-mailed comments. “We expect downside moves” in both the rand-dollar and rand-euro exchange rates today, he said.
The MSCI Emerging-Markets stock index dropped as much as 0.7 percent and the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of raw materials declined 0.2 percent as the prices of metals including copper fell. Metals and other mining commodities account for about 60 percent of South Africa’s exports, according to government data.
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