South African rand flat as investors await GDP data

The rand was 0.1per cent weaker at 15.2050 per dollar compared with Friday’s close of 15.1850, extending the currency’s subdued run in the past few sessions, with a break of 15.50 eyed by bears failing to materialise.

Statistics South Africa publishes second quarter gross domestic product figures on Tuesday at 0930 GMT.

Africa’s most developed economy contracted 3.2per cent in quarter, hit by nationwide power outages by cash-strapped state power firm Eskom. A Reuters poll of economists forecasts Q2 GDP expanding 2.4per cent.

“Much of this expected lift would be attributable to statistical base effects and the stabilisation of electricity supply rather than to a sustainable turnaround in economic activity,” said Lara Hodes of Investec.

The ongoing trade spat between China and the United States has also dampened demand for emerging currencies.