Rand touches 2-week highs, JSE gains

The Star Early Edition - - PRICES -

THE RAND reached its firmest level in two weeks yes­ter­day as the sus­pen­sion of new min­ing laws and weak data from the US pushed the cur­rency past cru­cial tech­ni­cal lev­els and lured back in­vestors hun­gry for high yields.

At 5pm, the rand was bid at R12.9238 to the dol­lar, 10.77c stronger than at the same time on Fri­day, softer than the ses­sion-best R12.89.

“The dis­ap­point­ing US in­fla­tion num­bers and the moth­balling of the min­ing char­ter, that mo­men­tum is still com­ing through to­day,” said cur­rency dealer at Trea­sury, One An­dre Botha.

On Fri­day, South Africa said it had sus­pended the im­ple­men­ta­tion of new min­ing laws, which in­cluded rais­ing the level of shares black peo­ple should own in min­ing firms, pend­ing a court rul­ing on a chal­lenge lodged by the Cham­ber of Mines.

The an­nounce­ment of the laws in mid-June saw the rand slide 2 per­cent and min­ing shares plunge, and prompted a warn­ing from rat­ings agency Moody’s that the new rules would de­ter in­vest­ment, raise costs and di­min­ish cash­flow generation.

Mean­while, stocks ticked up, led by buy­ing com­ing back into Lon­min af­ter it cut costs and boosted third quar­ter min­ing per­for­mance.

The bench­mark JSE Top40 index ticked up 0.4 per­cent to 47 99.60 points, while the all share index gained 0.43 per­cent to 53 827.41 points.

Lon­min’s share price rose to its high­est level in more than a month af­ter buy­ing came into the pre­vi­ously over­sold platinum miner when it cut more costs and im­proved its min­ing per­for­mance in its third quar­ter.

Lon­min ad­vanced 14.82 per­cent to close at R12.86.

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