S.Africa's rand bucks stronger global trend, stocks open firmer

by Reuters 0

South Africa’s rand gave up gains notched up overnight in early trade on Thursday, bucking a stronger global trend, as weak domestic fundamentals weighed on sentiment.

At 0713 GMT the local unit was trading at 15.4900 to the dollar, down 0.16 percent compared with Wednesday’s close of 15.4650.

The rand failed to hold on to gains spurred by the Fed minutes suggesting slower U.S. hike view, with analysts citing uncertainty ahead of next week’s national budget.

“It (rand) is not out of the woods yet, with Budget Speech and possible downgrades still looming,” said NKC African Economics analysts.

“Moreover, the rand is still far removed from 14.50 level it was trading at before President Jacob Zuma unceremoniously axed Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.”

Government bonds,however, rallied with yields led lower by the rand. The benchmark issue due in 2026 shed 6 basis points to 9.085 percent.

Stocks opened higher, with the JSE Top-40 blue-chip index adding 0.47 percent to 44,819 points.