Illustration photo shows a two-rand coin above a South African flag April 12, 2017. REUTERS-Thomas White-Illustration

South Africa’s rand weakened against the dollar early on Friday as investors monitored the latest U.S. response to China tightening its control over the city of Hong Kong.

At 0637 GMT, the rand traded at 17.5510 per dollar, 0.18% weaker than its previous close, retreating from a nine-week high of 17.3000 touched on Thursday on optimism over recovering global growth.

“The local unit ran out of steam mid-session as US-Sino tensions outweighed positive sentiment,” analysts at NKC African Economics said in a note.

Traders said they expect the content of an address U.S. President Donald Trump to set the course for the local unit. Trump, who has vowed a tough response to China’s move, said he will hold a news conference on the matter on Friday.

Locally, market participants awaited April trade balance figures as well as monthly budget balance numbers due later in the day.

In fixed income, the yield on the 10-year government bond was up 2.5 basis points at 8.96%.

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