Forex and bonds Positive mining output gives rand a lift
THE RAND edged slightly firmer against the dollar yesterday after a surprise expansion in mining output provided a rare piece of good news for South Africa.
At 5pm the rand was bid at R11.1856 to the dollar, 1.26c firmer than at the same time on Wednesday.
Yields on government bonds were up, the benchmark issue due in 2026 rising after falling to a week-and-a-half low on Wednesday.
Mining output for September rose by 5.3 percent boosted by platinum producers’ gradual return to productivity after a five-month work stoppage in the first half of the year forced the sector to its knees.
The increase was better than analysts’ expectations and a Reuters poll anticipating a 3.4 percent year on year decline.
Earlier, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told a business conference that the priorities for the country’s economy were stabilising labour relations and increasing energy supply.
His remarks come as stateowned power utility Eskom introduced rolling blackouts for the second time this year at the start of the month.
Lack of reliable power supply was one reason rating agency Moody’s downgraded the country’s credit status last Thursday.