Rand inches higher, Brait caps JSE gains

The Star Early Edition - - PRICES -

THE RAND inched higher yes­ter­day, adding to the pre­vi­ous ses­sion’s gains, with po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic un­cer­tainty in Bri­tain and the US en­cour­ag­ing in­vestors to search for higher yields else­where.

At 5.28pm, the rand traded 0.35 per­cent firmer at R12.7750 to the dol­lar com­pared to its close of R12.82 overnight in New York.

“De­spite a back­drop of de­cline and down­grades from all of the rat­ings agen­cies, the rand con­tin­ues to trade re­siliently, tech­ni­cally the cur­rent lev­els would sug­gest the po­ten­tial for a move to­ward the (R)12.5000 level, al­though lo­cal fun­da­men­tals do not ap­pear to sup­port that sce­nario,” Ned­bank an­a­lysts wrote in a note.

The rand has gained around 1.5 per­cent since Moody’s down­graded the coun­try’s credit by one notch on Fri­day with a nega­tive out­look, which still left it as the only ma­jor agency to rate South Africa as in­vest­ment grade.

Glob­ally, traders eyed the start of a two-day US Fed­eral Re­serve meet­ing. In Bri­tain, in­vestors were still cau­tious af­ter the shock out­come of last week’s elec­tion.

Govern­ment bonds weak­ened, with the yield for the bench­mark in­stru­ment due in 2026 ris­ing.

Mean­while, stocks trod wa­ter as falls in gold shares and Brait curbed fur­ther gains.

The bench­mark JSE Top40 in­dex rose 0.21 per­cent to 45 264.87 points, while the broader all share in­dex ticked up 0.12 per­cent at 51 625.07 points.

The big­gest faller on the bourse, Brait, re­ported a 43 per­cent fall in full-year net as­set value weighed down by un­favourable cur­rency move­ments and a weak show­ing at New Look, its Bri­tish no-frills cloth­ing chain.

Brait yes­ter­day closed 4.55 per­cent lower at R62.51.

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