South African rand dives to record low in Asian trade as Japanese sell

Frank van den Bergh | E+ | Getty Images

South Africa's rand tumbled to a fresh record low against the U.S. dollar in erratic Asian trade on Monday, with dealers talking of Japanese sellers in a very illiquid market.

The dollar surged as much as 10.3 percent at one stage to reach 17.9950 rand and was last quoted at 17.2500, a huge move from 16.3150 late in New York on Friday.

Dealers said Japanese investors were selling rand for U.S. dollars, where there was at least some liquidity, and then exchanging those dollars for yen.

The resulting flows pushed the yen up broadly, with the dollar dropping as far as 116.70 yen from 117.27 late on Friday.

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