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Rand weaker before retail sales data

Economists expect retail sales growth to slow to 4.4% for March.

 South Africa‘s rand was slightly weaker early on Wednesday as investors awaited retail sales data for clues about the health of the economy.

At 06:10 GMT, the rand traded at 12.590 versus the dollar, down around 0.15% from its close on Tuesday.

Statistics South Africa is scheduled to publish March retail sales data, which reflects the strength of consumer confidence, at around 11:00 GMT.

Economists polled by Reuters expect retail sales growth to slow to 4.4% from 4.9%  in February.

The rand slumped by almost 2% on Tuesday, hurt by a strong dollar fuelled by rising US bond yields.

The South African currency has been pulled this way and that in recent weeks, taking its cue from global market moves. It is down around 1% against the US currency since the end of last month.

Government bonds were also weaker in early deals, with the yield on the benchmark instrument due in 2026 up 1.5 basis points to 8.505%.

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