South Africa posts record trade deficit

South Africa's trade deficit soared to record levels last month, offical data showed, pushing down the exchange rate of the rand on Friday.

The South Africa Revenue Service reported the defict increased by 54 percent between September and October, on the back of a slump in metals exports.

Mining output has been significantly slowed by a wave of deadly labour strikes which curbed platinum and gold production.

The deficit stood at more than 21 billion rand ($2.4 billion) versus nearly 14 billion ($1.6 billion) the month before.

The rand slumped against the dollar and the euro shortly after the figures were released, with the South African currency hitting 52 week lows against the single European currency.

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