THE rand was slightly weaker on Friday morning and continued to struggle to break past a key resistance level against the dollar despite renewed weakness in that currency.

The local unit has failed to make a sustained break to below R15.85 against the greenback.

Investors have dumped the dollar in recent days following remarks by US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen that global economic instability could result in the Fed holding back on further interest rate increases this year.

President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address on Thursday night failed to inspire positive rand moves.

Market participants will now remain on high alert ahead of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech on February 24.

Rand Merchant Bank analysts said investors should expect "large intraday volatility" until then.

At 8.38am the rand was at R15.8756 against the dollar from a previous close of R15.8571.

Against the euro, the rand was at R17.9466 from R17.9284 and was at R22.9631 against the pound from R22.8880 previously.

The euro was at $1.1305 from $1.1321 previously.

Data risks on the day include US retail sales figures.