Rand softer on trader profit taking
THE RAND retreated against the dollar yesterday as traders looking ahead to the new week took profits from the currency’s rally to a twoand-a-half month best, with worries about the state of the economy creeping back into sentiment.
At 5pm, the rand was bid at R12.933 to the dollar, 9.13c softer than at the same time on Thursday, its weakest in two sessions, having closed at R12.80 overnight.
The rand has gained about 5 percent in the past 30 days as political tensions between the US and North Korea simmered.
Data on Tuesday showing the economy had shaken off recession spurred the rally, but figures later in the week showing key sectors of the economy remained subdued dimmed sentiment and saw short selling on the unit.
Meanwhile, stocks eased yesterday, moving further away from record peaks scaled two weeks ago as investors took profits and a euro rally hit European stocks.
The benchmark JSE Top40 index declined 0.32 percent to 49 274.03 points, while the broader all share index lost 0.27 percent to 55 724.67 points. – Reuters