The rand fell on Thursday as analysts rued the weakness of the local currency and markets wait for direction from US employment data on Friday.
At 1140 GMT, the rand traded at R19.57 against the dollar.
The dollar last traded around 0.08% weaker against a basket of global currencies.
“Given South Africa’s heightened fiscal risks and deteriorating economic fundamentals, the ZAR lacks resilience against the broader ebb and flow of market sentiment,” Danny Greeff, co-head of Africa at ETM Analytics told Reuters.
“The US employment data scheduled for release tomorrow … will likely determine its directionality into the new week,” Greeff said.
The rand has already lost over 3% against the greenback this month and about 13% this year, but central bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Thursday that the bank would not step in to protect the local currency.
“It’s a futile exercise trying to defend the exchange rate,” Kganyago said during a webinar, adding that the rand was caught up in a realignment of global currencies.
Like other risk-sensitive currencies, the rand often takes cues from international factors such as dollar moves and US economic data in the absence of major local data points.
On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the blue-chip Top 40 index last traded about 0.6% higher.
South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger, with the yield down 7 basis points to 11.015%.