Rand slips, gold min­ers weigh on JSE

The Star Early Edition - - PRICES -

THE RAND weak­ened yes­ter­day as bet­ter-than-ex­pected growth in the US wob­bled emerg­ing mar­ket cur­ren­cies and as jit­ters set in ahead of ANC’s six-day pol­icy con­fer­ence start­ing to­day.

By 5pm, the rand had slipped 0.46 per­cent to R13 to the dol­lar, near its weak­est level in one week, af­ter US data showed that econ­omy slowed less sharply in the first quar­ter than ini­tially es­ti­mated.

The lure of im­proved growth in the US and the like­li­hood of higher in­ter­est rates there is set to erode carry trade de­mand for the rand with po­lit­i­cal and pol­icy un­cer­tainty the main risks to sen­ti­ment.

“The rand’s re­cent out­per­for­mance seems to be run­ning out (of) steam and looks set to weaken fur­ther af­ter the US GDP data,” said econ­o­mist at ETM An­a­lyt­ics, Halen Bothma, adding that the breach of R13 mark would be sig­nif­i­cant for mo­men­tum.

“It seems the fo­cus of the ANC’s con­fer­ence won’t be so much pol­icy as the race for lead­er­ship, and that could be neg­a­tive for the cur­rency,” Bothma said.

Mean­while, stocks were down as gold min­ing shares buck­led un­der a lower bul­lion price.

The bench­mark JSE Top40 index dropped 0.64 per­cent to 45 211.74 points, while the all share index was down 0.47 per­cent to close at 51 355.97 points.

The lo­cal gold sec­tor de­clined 3.26 per­cent as bul­lion prices dropped 0.39 per­cent on signs that cen­tral banks may scale back their ul­tra-loose mon­e­tary pol­icy pushed bond yields higher.

“De­spite the Euro be­ing stronger than the dol­lar we have com­mod­ity prices com­ing un­der pres­sure,” said Cratos Cap­i­tal stock bro­ker Yusuf Mola.

Gold Fields re­treated 4.91 per­cent to end at R43.54.

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