In South Africa Rand on the ropes as economic concerns weigh

By 0650 GMT the rand had slipped 0.44 percent to 15.1035 per dollar compared to its overnight close at 15.0370 in New York.

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A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo play A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
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South Africa's rand retreated against the dollar early on Thursday, giving up a minor rebound back from six-week lows as global and domestic growth concerns rattled sentiment towards the continent's most industrialised economy.

By 0650 GMT the rand had slipped 0.44 percent to 15.1035 per dollar compared to its overnight close at 15.0370 in New York.

Government bonds were firmer, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 shedding 3.5 basis points to 9.15 percent.

Earlier in the week the rand tumbled to its weakest level since March 29 after data showed unemployment rose to its highest in more than a decade.

Traders expect growth worries and low liquidity in a session short of any major data releases to leave the door open for further rand losses.

"It's about the biggest order at the most illiquid time," chief trader at Standard Bank Warrick Butler said in a note.

South Africa's statistics agency publishes March mining and manufacturing production figures later in the session, with both sets of data due to show contractions in the country's two largest sectors.

The stock market is set open lower when trade resumes at 0700 GMT, with the benchmark Top-40 futures index down 0.5 percent.

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