Rand on shaky ground as SAfrica power supply wobbles
index since June - have raised concern about profits at US firms.
Earnings from major US firms have disappointed investors, with multinationals from DuPont and Caterpillar to Microsoft Corp complaining that the strong dollar was hurting profits.
Data on Tuesday showed US nondefence capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, fell unexpectedly for a fourth straight month in December.
It marked the longest downward stretch since 2012, stoking worries that slowing global growth and cheap oil prices were curbing business spending in the United States, one of the brightest spots in the global economy.
"US economic indicators are losing a bit of momentum lately, whether it is caused by a strong dollar or not," said a trader at a major Japanese bank. -Reuters JOHANNESBURG: The rand remained on the back foot against the dollar on Wednesday after weakening to 1-week lows overnight, as investors fretted about the impact of South Africa's electricity shortage on economic growth.
At 0636 GMT, the rand traded at 11.5800 per dollar, within a whisker of Tuesday's close of 11.5855.
It had fallen to 11.6100 in the previous session, its weakest level since Jan. 20 according to Thomson Reuters data, weighed down in large part by power utility Eskom's warning that the national grid remained under severe strain.
Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of South Africa's power, was forced to implement controlled outages - referred to as "load shedding" - for the second day in a row on Tuesday to avoid triggering a total collapse of the national grid.
"The rand has been hurt by negative sentiment and the adverse GDP implications surrounding Eskom's latest round of load shedding," Barclays Africa said in a statement.
Markets were also waiting for the U.S. Federal Reserve's statement due later on Wednesday for pointers on the timing of policy tightening in the world's biggest economy.
Government bonds edged higher on Wednesday, and the yield on the benchmark maturing 2026 eased 3 basis points to 7.17 percent. - Reuters Central Bank European Central Bank Federal Reserve Reserve Bank of Australia Swiss National Bank Countries U.S.A U.K EURO CANADA SWITZERLAND AUSTRALIA SWEDEN JAPAN NORWAY SINGAPORE DENMARK SAUDI ARABIA HONGKONG CHINA KUWAIT MALAYSIA NEWZEALAND QATAR U.A.E KR. WON THAILAND 2/3/2015 Reserve Bank of New Zealand1/28/2015