South African rand slips on weaker precious metals

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 27 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand slipped in early trade on Wednesday, hit by subdued prices of precious metals, which are among the country's major exports.

At 0720 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 14.8850 against the dollar, around 0.3% weaker than its previous close.

Gold XAU= fell 0.4% as firmer U.S. bond yields dented bullion's appeal, while platinum XPT= dropped 0.7%.

"So much of the rand's recent resilience is a direct or indirect function of high commodity prices propping South Africa's terms of trade, meaning the currency often moves in lockstep with them," ETM Analytics said in a note.

The dollar .DXY was down 0.1% against a basket of currencies.

Some analysts expect the dollar to weaken when tapering happens, after the U.S. currency hit a one-year high earlier this month on expectations that the Federal Reserve would start to taper its bond purchases.

The focus later in the week will be on a series of domestic data releases, including producer inflation numbers ZAPPIY=ECI on Thursday, as well as budget ZABUDM=ECI and trade ZATBAL=ECI numbers on Friday.

Next week, attention will turn to a municipal election on Monday, which will gauge voter support for the governing African National Congress.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Top-40 .JTOPI index was down 0.4% in early trade.

The government's 2030 bond ZAR2030= was slightly stronger, with the yield falling three basis points to 9.48%.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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