South African rand unchanged ahead of Q3 current account data - REUTERS
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The South African rand was unchanged in early trade on Thursday ahead of third quarter current account data and as risk aversion was heightened ahead of U.S. payrolls data on Friday, analysts said.
At 0646 GMT, the rand traded at its previous close of 18.9600 against the dollar , while the dollar was last around 0.1% weaker against a basket of global currencies.
The rand has been under pressure this week and is once again "flirting" with 19.00 to the dollar, said Andre Cilliers, currency strategist at TreasuryONE.
At 0900 GMT, the South African Reserve Bank will publish the country's third quarter current account data (ZACACT=ECI). Analysts polled by Reuters predict a deficit of 111 billion rand.
"Risk aversion is firming ahead of the payroll data, US CPI, and monetary meetings by the FOMC, ECB, and BoE in the coming week," Cilliers added.
Payrolls data out of the U.S. could give hints on the future interest rate path of the world's biggest economy. The rand often take cues from global factors like U.S. monetary policy in addition to local drivers.
Locally, South Africa's net foreign reserves rose to $56.319 billion at the end of November from $55.510 billion in October, central bank data showed on Thursday.
On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the blue-chip Top-40 index (.JTOPI) was down about 0.3% lower in early trade.
South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was slightly weaker in early deals, with the yield up 2 basis points to 10%.