South Africa's rand hits new all-time low versus dollar

South Africa's rand hits new all-time low versus dollar

The South African rand hit a new all-time low against the dollar on Friday, extending steep losses from the previous day.

On Thursday the U.S. ambassador said he was confident that a Russian ship had picked up weapons in South Africa last year.

The U.S. assertion came at a time when investor sentiment towards South Africa had already badly soured over the worst power cuts on record that show no sign of abating.

The South African government is opening an independent inquiry led by a retired judge into the allegation of an arms shipment to Russia, President Cyril Ramaphosa's office said on Thursday.

By 0710 GMT on Friday the rand was about 1% weaker than its previous close at 19.3900 to the U.S. dollar , taking losses since the start of the week to more than 5%.

JPMorgan in a research note on Friday said it now forecast a 0.2% decline in South Africa's 2023 gross domestic product versus a previous forecast for 0.3% growth, citing expectations for deeper power cuts.