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Rand Declines Second Day on U.S. Debt Concern; Bonds Retreat

January 03, 2013

The rand declined for a second day as concern U.S. lawmakers won’t agree to raise the debt ceiling for the world’s biggest economy sapped demand for riskier, emerging- market assets.

South Africa’s currency weakened 1.1 percent to 8.5767 per dollar as of 3:38 p.m. in Johannesburg. Yields on benchmark 10.5 percent bonds due December 2026 rose seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 7.31 percent.

Bonds gained for the first time in six days yesterday after a U.S. budget deal that averted automatic tax increases and spending cuts. The dollar advanced against most of its 16 major counterparts today as officials turned their attention to a debate over raising the $16.4 trillion debt limit. An increase will be needed as early as mid-February, according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.

“The fiscal challenges still exist; they have not been resolved,” George Glynos, a Johannesburg-based analyst at ETM Analytics, and colleagues wrote in e-mailed comments. “Risk assets will start to once again price in the uncertainty.”

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index dropped for the first time in three days as the prices of metals including copper and nickel declined. Metals and other commodities account for 45 percent of South Africa’s exports, according to government data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Brand in Cape Town at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at

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