The South African rand was flat against the dollar early on Monday, but traders and analysts said it could turn weaker if the October trade deficit came in bigger than expected later in the session.
Rand stable, could weaken on trade data
The JSE securities exchange's Top-40 futures index was down 0.26 percent, suggesting the bourse would get off to a slightly soft start at 0700 GMT.
By 0645 GMT the rand traded at 14.4115 versus the dollar, hardly changed from Friday's close of 14.4025.
The rand barely moved after a central bank report at 0600 GMT showed growth in private sector credit demand in South Africa quickened to 8.87 percent in October on the year, from 8.39 percent in September.
Investors awaited more data from the revenue service at 1200 GMT, which could weigh on the rand. Economists surveyed in a Reuters poll expected a widening to 4.9 billion rand in the October trade deficit, after an 890 million rand gap in September.
"A wider than consensus deficit print today could be rand negative if it raises concerns about a continued widening in South Africa’s current account deficit," Barclays Africa said in a market note.
Government bonds weakened in early trade, with the yield for debt due in 2026 rising 2.5 basis points to 8.585 percent from Friday's close.
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