South Africa’s rand slides as political noise sours sentiment

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand slipped in early trade on Friday, dragged back towards one-month lows by concerns that local political turmoil was undermining growth, along with signs of a rebound in the U.S. economy.

* At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 14.2825 per dollar, 0.23percent weaker than its overnight close in New York. * Standard & Poor’s Africa head says “political turmoil andtension” causing concern ahead of a ratings decision onDecember. [nL8N1CJ51I] * President Zuma late on Thursday moved to block release ofresults of investigation into interference by his wealthyfriends. [nL8N1CJ41J] * Yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 adds 1basis point to 8.915 percent. * Blue chip futures index up 0.49 percent, indicating JSEsecurities exchange opening higher at 0700 GMT. * Finance Minister Gordhan, charged with fraud this week,due to address Thomson Reuters conference in Cape Town. * U.S. retail sales data and remarks from Federal Reserveofficials expected to bolster expectations of interest rate hikethis year.


(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Kevin Liffey)


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