Rand extends losses, resources sink JSE
THE RAND extended its losses against the dollar yesterday as jittery investors sold the currency after a recommendation by the anti-graft watchdog to remove the central bank’s mandate of maintaining currency and price stability.
At 5.11pm, the rand traded at R13.09 to the dollar, 0.75 percent weaker than its New York close on Monday.
The unit fell as much as 1.6 percent against the dollar on Monday when Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, head of the country’s constitutionally-sanctioned anti-graft watchdog, said the SA Reserve Bank should be more concerned about citizens and less about the currency.
S&P Global Ratings said South Africa’s rating could be cut deeper into junk territory if the government meddles with the central bank’s “critical” independence.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down.
Meanwhile, stocks weakened on the bourse, weighed down by resource shares that have fallen since the government raised the minimum threshold for black ownership of mining companies to 30 percent from 26 percent last Thursday.
The benchmark JSE Top40 index fell 0.91 percent to 44 970 points, while the all share index dropped 0.9 percent to 51 161 points.
The Chamber of Mines, which represents mining firms, said it would challenge the new rules in court, while ratings firm Fitch said the new regulations would deter investment. Harmony Gold lost 6.26 percent to R20.68 and Impala Platinum retreated 6.18 percent to R34.15. Anglo American lost 3.11 percent to R158.78.