South African rand weakens after local trade data disappoints

Visitors walk past a reception with an electronic board displaying movements in major indices at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange building in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 30 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand weakened against the dollar on Friday, after data showed the country's trade surplus narrowed significantly in August.

At 1646 GMT, the rand traded at 18.0700 against the dollar, 0.63% weaker than its previous close.

South Africa recorded a trade surplus of 7.18 billion rand ($397.34 million) in August, down from a 24.81 billion rand surplus in July, data from the revenue service showed. read more

On a month-on-month basis, imports were up 10.4%, while exports dropped 1%.

"The weakness in the country's exports reflects the deterioration in global demand conditions and softer prices for key export commodities," analysts at Nedbank said in a research note.

The dollar index , which measures the safe-haven currency against a basket of rivals, was last up 0.47% at 112.33. read more

Stocks on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange rose, with the Top-40 (.JTOPI) index closing 0.82% higher and the broader all-share (.JALSH) index ending up 0.73%.

The government's benchmark 2030 bond was higher, with the yield down 5 basis points to 10.885%.

($1 = 18.0702 rand)

Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian in Johannesburg and Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey and Ken Ferris

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