The South African rand was weaker in early trade on Monday as violence in the Middle East stoked risk aversion in global markets while domestic focus is on the release of national census due out this week.
At 0705 GMT, the rand traded at 19.4000 against the dollar , about 0.6% weaker than its Friday close.
The safe-haven dollar last traded around 0.25% stronger against a basket of global currencies.
South Africa’s statistics agency will on Tuesday release data from the country’s 2022 census, the fourth population and housing survey in post-apartheid South Africa and the first in over a decade. It is expected to give a comprehensive analysis of the economy that will help improve planning and development in Africa’s most industrialised economy.
Local investors will be looking at the data for clues on the state of South Africa’s economy post-pandemic and the country’s struggle with high unemployment.
Risk for markets will be elevated from Wednesday when the U.S. Federal Reserve releases its September meeting minutes, said Rand Merchant Bank analysts in a research note.
Investors will also focus on inflation data expected out of the world’s biggest economy on Thursday for hints about the Fed’s future interest rate path.
The rand, like other risk-sensitive currencies, often takes cues from global factors like U.S. economic data in the absence of major local data points.
Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange opened marginally higher, with the blue-chip Top-40 index (.JTOPI) last up about 0.2%.
South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker in early deals, with the yield up 5.5 basis points at 10.945%.