January 3, 2020 / 7:37 AM / 21 days ago

Rand slips to 2-week low as Middle East tensions sour risk demand

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 3 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand was weaker early on Friday, continuing a trend from the previous session, as investors fled risky assets after a U.S. air strike on Baghdad airport killed a top Iranian military commander.

At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.73% weaker at 14.1950 to the dollar, its softest level since Dec. 23, compared to an overnight close of 14.0880.

The local currency tracked its Asian peers lower after U.S. air strikes on Baghdad airport killed senior Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, stoking tensions in the Middle East and lifting the price of oil.

Bonds also weakened, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 paper up 5.5 basis points to 8.265%. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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