SHOPRIT: 17,820 -57 (-0.32%)
South Africa's rand firms on falling dollar, stocks up
JOHANNESBURG, April 12 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand was
set to end the week on a firmer footing on Friday as the U.S.
dollar weakened, while signs of economic stabilisation in China
boosted demand for riskier assets.
At 1517 GMT, the rand had strengthened by 0.57
percent to 13.9275 per dollar, staying close to a six-month high
of 13.8725 hit on Thursday.
"The rand is on route to securing its second straight week
of gains against the dollar despite disappointing domestic
economic data weighing on sentiment," said FXTM research analyst
Lukman Otunuga in a note.
"The rand's appreciation is mostly based around the dollar's
depreciation. Emerging market currencies have the potential to
strengthen in the upcoming trading week if dollar weakness
becomes a dominant market theme."
Investors' appetite for riskier currencies was boosted on
Friday after Chinese data showed exports rebounded last month,
helping offset weaker imports, and by reports of another
reduction in Germany's growth forecasts, analysts said.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond
due in 2026 fell 0.5 basis points to 8.485 percent.
Bourses strengthened, following the rand higher on the back
of better-than-expected U.S. bank results.
The Johannesburg All-Share index gained 0.38
percent to 58,405 points, and the Top-40 index
increased by 0.38 percent to 52,142 points.
Consumer staples led the blue-chip index higher, with
Africa's largest supermarket group Shoprite gaining 3.2
percent to 175.99 rand and Bid Corporation rising 1.74
percent to 293 rand.
Gareth Curry, a portfolio manager at Sanlam Private Wealth,
said better-than-anticipated U.S. bank results had pulled up
U.S. stocks, ultimately helping the South African market.
"On the back of [a stronger Dow], the dollar was a little
weaker, which is assisting the rand to strengthen, which in turn
is assisting the all-share to go up," he said.
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Onke Ngcuka; Editing
by Kirsten Donovan)
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