Johannesburg – South Africa’ weakened more than one percent in thin trade on Wednesday under pressure from a strengthening dollar, despite data showing the trade deficit had swung to a surplus from a wide deficit.

By 1320 GMT the rand had softened 1 percent to 15.47 per dollar, its weakest in two-and-a-half weeks as the greenback recovered globally from profit-taking.

“It mostly just year-end demand for dollars, but otherwise it’s really really quiet and there is nothing in particular that’s driving it (the rand),” said trader Jim Bryson of Rand Merchant Bank.