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South Africa's rand weakens as government tightens COVID-19 restrictions

JOHANNESBURG, June 28 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand weakened early on Monday after the government tightened COVID-19 restrictions to cope with the speed and scale of new coronavirus infections.

At 0623 GMT, the rand traded at 14.1800 against the dollar, 0.37% weaker than its previous close.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions for 14 days saying the current containment measures were insufficient with the country, the worst-hit on the African continent in terms of recorded cases and deaths, in the grip of a “third wave” of infections.

“This scenario, although necessary, is likely to hamper an already faltering economy, and the rand is likely to remain under pressure, with any strength in the local unit likely to be met with fresh demand for USD,” analysts at Nedbank wrote in a note.

Government bonds also weakened, with the yield on the instrument due in 2030 rising 4.5 basis points to 9.035%. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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