Rand weakens ahead of State of the Nation Address

FEBRUARY 12, 2015

The Rand weakened in early trade on Thursday ahead of President Jacob Zuma's much-anticipated State of the Nation Address.

At 0704 GMT, the Rand was trading 0.22% softer at 11.8615 to the dollar, compared to its closing level of 11.8350 on Wednesday.

The Rand touched a 12-year low of 11.8925 on Wednesday after long-standing economic frailties and more immediate socio-political pressures turned sentiment against the currency.

Investors hope would tackle domestic economic woes including electricity shortage.

Struggling power supplier, Eskom, on Wednesday implemented load shedding for a 10th straight day after technical problems on its aging units cut capacity.

Government bonds also weakened, with the yield for the 2026 benchmark up 0.5 basis points to 7.625%.