South Africa's rand slipped early on Wednesday but was still not far off near 10-month highs, ahead of local inflation figures.

At 0701 GMT, the rand traded at 18.1250 against the dollar , 0.25% weaker than its previous close. The local currency hit 18.0300 on Tuesday, its strongest level since August.

South African investor focus will be on the April consumer price index, with economists polled by Reuters predicting year-on-year inflation at 5.3%.

"Despite slightly lower inflation in March, inflationary pressures will likely keep headline CPI above the SARB's (South African Reserve Bank) target midpoint of 4.5%," ETM Analytics said in a research note.

Globally, markets await the Federal Reserve meeting minutes for more insight on the U.S. central bank's interest rate path.

The dollar index was flat against a basket of currencies.

On the stock market, the Top-40 index was down about 0.1% in early trade.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker, with the yield up 2 basis points to 10.290%. (Reporting by Bhargav Acharya, Editing by William Maclean)