The rand was weaker in early trade on Friday as renewed concerns about Greece and its impact on the euro resulted in many commodity currencies such as the rand and the Australian dollar being sold off.
"We have returned to a 'risk-off' mode, so all commodity currencies are being smacked. The R8.05 support level did not hold, so the next major support is R8.12," a local trader said.
At 08:23 local time the rand was bid at R8.0983 to the dollar from Thursday's close of R8.0236, Wednesday's close of R7.9993, Tuesday's close of R7.9010 and Monday's close of R7.7983. It was bid at R10.4563 to the euro from R10.3823 before, and at R13.0371 against sterling from R12.9482 previously. The rand was last above R13 per sterling on December 16 2011.
Gold was trading at US$1582.69 per ounce.
The euro was bid at US$1.2911 from Thursday's close of $1.2935, Wednesday's close of $1.2936 and Tuesday's close of $1.2992.
Standard Bank said in its morning report that news of a possible coalition government in Greece briefly lifted hopes yesterday but, overall, the rand slid further on poor sentiment.
"With risk aversion in the air, the traditional rush to safe havens has lifted the dollar and seen the rand weaken to more than R8.00. The currency's woes were compounded by yesterday's poor local mining and manufacturing data. As with much of this week, the market is likely to remain fixated on developments in Europe, particularly Greece. The prevailing uncertainty will continue to weigh on the euro and other risky assets, while continuing to lend support to the dollar. Therefore, the rand's weakening bias will persist into the weekend," the bank said.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that the euro edged down Friday and is likely to keep falling due to investors' renewed concerns over the possibilities of a disorderly Greek default or the country's exit from the eurozone due to political uncertainties.
"It's Greece. It's its politics," said Takao Yahata, chief manager of currency trading at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking.
Athens' ruling coalition lost its majority in the May 6 election, and the market is paying attention to whether the nation will be forced to call another election as early as in June. The result of such an election, or avoiding one, could lead to a change in the nation's course to improve its fiscal status, a necessary condition to get aid from other euro-zone countries and the International Monetary Fund.
Traders said the euro's losses so far are limited because some speculators are defending the currency options' barrier at $1.2900.
But with one more push, such as a negative headline from Greece, the euro is likely to resume sharper declines, Yahata said.
Bonds take strain on rand
The under pressure rand ushered bonds weaker in early morning trade on Friday.
Standard Bank said that as with much of this week, the market was likely to remain fixated on developments in Europe, particularly Greece.
"The prevailing uncertainty will continue to weigh on the euro and other risky assets, while continuing to lend support to the dollar. Therefore, the rand's weakening bias will persist into the weekend," they said.
At 08:50, the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.505 percent from Thursday's close of 6.450 percent. The R207 was bid at 7.645 percent and offered at 7.620 percent from a previous close of 7.580 percent and the R186 was trading at 8.330 percent from its close of 8.260 percent.