JOHANNESBURG, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The South African rand weakened on Thursday, as appetite for emerging market currencies globally was subdued with investors avoiding big bets ahead of employment data in the United States, seen as an indicator to the direction of interest rates.
* At 0640 GMT the rand had weakened 0.2 percent to 13.5500 per dollar form a close of 13.5225 overnight in New York.
* The rand traded in a narrow range in the week, rising to 13.4350 after better-than-expected third-quarter growth data, before selling pressure as investors took profits and on risk positioning ahead of the African National Congress leadership conference. * Bonds weakened, with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 up 3 basis points to 9.205 percent. * Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s benchmark Top-40 futures index up 0.6 percent. * Statistics South Africa publishes October mining production data at 0930 GMT. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Sunil Nair)