JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand weakened early on Friday, giving up some of the ground it gained after a Fed-inspired surge to a six month high, with weak economic data from China dampening risk demand and igniting some profit-taking.
* At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.47 percent weaker at 13.3100 per dollar, slipping back from an overnight close of 13.2475.
* China’s factory activity shrank by the most in almost three years in January as new orders slumped further and output fell, a private survey showed, reinforcing fears a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy is deepening.* Once the rand broke through resistance at 13.25 some technical selling was triggered, with a close below 13.30 now seen as the next mark needed to trigger further gains, traders said.
* With U.S. employment data due later in the session, and only factory activity due in local data, the rand is set to remain in range for most of the local trade session.
* Bonds were flat, with the yield of the benchmark 10-year bond trading at 8.59 percent.
* Stocks opened weaker, with the Johannesburg Top-40 index down 0.13 percent at 47,893 points. – Reuters Africa