South African rand falls after China manufacturing growth declines




South Africa’s currency, Rand weakened on Tuesday, along with most emerging- market currencies, as slowing growth in Chinese manufacturing sector re-ignited fears about the impact of a trade dispute between China and the United States.

The rand was 0.23 percent weaker at 13.1850 per dollar compared with a close of 13.1550 in New York.

Data showed on Tuesday that growth in Chinese manufacturing slowed more than expected in July, as the worsening trade dispute with the United States and weaker domestic demand weighed on factory activity.

China, a major source of foreign earnings for commodity exporters like South Africa, is engaged in a tariff war with the United States, which earlier this month imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports.

Bonds were also weaker, with yield on the benchmark debt due in 2026, adding 0.5 basis points to 8.595 percent.

Stocks opened weaker, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index down 0.28 percent to 51,805 points.

Earlier, South Africa’s statistics office on Tuesday said that the country’s unemployment rate rose to 27.2 percent of the labour force in the second quarter from 26.7 percent in the first quarter.

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