September 12, 2018 / 6:56 AM / 11 days ago

S.Africa's rand weaker as emerging markets knocked by trade war fears

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 12 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand weakened on Tuesday as emerging market currencies lost ground with further deterioration in United States and China trade relations subduing demand for risk assets.

* At 0650 GMT the rand was 0.32 percent softer at 15.1050 per dollar compared to a close of 15.0575 in New York.

* The threat of Washington imposing heavier trade sanctions on Beijing intensified after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would take a tougher stance with China on trade.

* China on Wednesday slashed its forecast for 2018/19 soybean imports as farmers reduce their use of the bean in animal feed because of the Sino-U.S. trade conflict, which will threaten Washington’s supplies of the oilseed to China.

* The local market awaits the release of retail sales data at 1100 GMT for July, with the market expecting a 1.3 percent increase year on year from a 0.7 percent rise in June.

* Government bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 rising 3 basis points to 9.180 percent.

Reporting by Nomvelo Chalumbira Editing by Andrew Heavens

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