The rand retreated as much as 1.9% versus the dollar, trading at the lowest level since 2011, after a report showed South Africa’s economic growth slowed to an annualized 0.9% in the first quarter. That was less than the 1.6% median of 15 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
The yen slid 1.2% to 102.23 per dollar as Hamada said central bank Governor Haruhiko Kuroda “should continue to trust in his judgment and ease further” if needed. Japan’s currency lost 0.9% per euro. The 17-nation shared currency slipped 0.4% to $1.2877 while the dollar strengthened versus 14 of 16 major peers.
The Japanese currency’s decline versus the dollar takes its retreat in May to 4.7%. That would be an eighth month of declines. More yen weakness is “not out of the question,” Hamada said in an interview in Tokyo today.
Italy’s borrowing costs fell to a record low at the sale of 2.5 billion euros ($3.23 billion) of zero-coupon 2014 notes. The yield on 10-year bonds dropped two basis points to 4.03%.
The cost of insuring corporate bonds declined with the Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit-default swaps linked to 125 investment-grade companies sliding two basis points to 95 basis points.
U.K. government bonds retreated with Treasuries. The yield on the U.K.’s 10-year securities climbed five basis points to 1.96%, the highest since March 15. The rate on similar- maturity German bunds increased four basis points to 1.50%, also the highest since March.
Treasuries lost 1.3% this month through yesterday, set for their biggest loss in 29 months, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch index shows. German bonds slipped 1.2% and U.K. securities tumbled 1.7%.
The S&P GSCI climbed for the first time in a week, led by a 2.7% rally in corn before a government report that may show wet weather slowed planting in the Midwest. The index is up 1% this month even as gold tumbled 6% and silver dropped about 8%.
Heating oil advanced 1.8% today and West Texas Intermediate oil rallied 0.9% to $95.01 a barrel, the first gain in a week. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to keep its output target at 30 million barrels a day on May 31 when the group meets in Vienna, a Bloomberg News survey shows.