JOHANNESBURG, Dec 5 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand breached 10.5000 against the dollar on Thursday, touching its weakest level in nearly five years as investors dumped riskier assets in anticipation of a slowdown in U.S. central bank asset purchases.
The rand hit a session low of 10.5395 per dollar, the softest it has been since March 2009, before coming back to 10.4350 by 1605 GMT, 0.14 percent off its previous close.
Government debt also weakened, with the yield on South Africa's 2026 bond ticking up one basis point to 8.47 percent. At the shorter end of the curve, the 2015 benchmark closed 3 basis points higher at 6.34 percent.
'With the rand heavily exposed to weak domestic fundamentals as fears of a Fed taper do the rounds, local bonds are selling off,' Tradition Analytics said in a market note.
The rand has dropped more than 23 percent against the dollar this year, as incessant wage related strikes and weak economic data weigh on investor sentiment.
Analysts have included the rand among emerging market currencies likely to feel the brunt of the Federal Reserve's eventual scaling back of its $85 billion a month bond purchases.
(Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing by Catherine Evans) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/RAND
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