Rand weaker on cur­rent ac­count data

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

THE RAND eased yes­ter­day to three-week lows af­ter data showed the cur­rent ac­count deficit widened in the sec­ond quar­ter, while min­ing shares weighed on the bourse.

The cur­rent ac­count deficit widened to the equiv­a­lent of 2.4 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct as an in­creased trade sur­plus was off­set by a larger short­fall on ser­vices, in­come and cur­rent trans­fer pay­ments, a big­ger short­fall than the 2 per­cent ex­pected by econ­o­mists.

How­ever, at 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.1635 to the dol­lar, less than one cent firmer than at the same time on Wed­nes­day.

Some re­lief for the rand could come from a sur­plus in the trade ac­count, Kevin Lings, chief econ­o­mist at Stan­lib, said in a note.

“As al­ways, how­ever, do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal risks in­ter­twined with the on­go­ing risk of fur­ther credit rat­ing down­grades cou­pled with changes in global risk ap­petite are likely to keep the Rand volatile over the short to medium term,” he said.

In fixed in­come, the yield for the bench­mark gov­ern­ment due in 2026 was lower. Stocks also eased, with Im­pala

Plat­inum slid­ing 6.48 per­cent to close at R36.80 af­ter it re­ported a 2017 loss af­ter writ­ing off part of the value of a deal a decade ago that helped the miner meet a tar­get for black own­er­ship.

The bench­mark JSE Top40 in­dex was off 0.54 per­cent at 49 514.83 points and the broader all share in­dex dropped by the same mar­gin to 55 850.32 points.

PPC bucked the down­ward trend, clos­ing 4.7 per­cent higher at R6.24 af­ter Nige­ria’s Dan­gote Ce­ment said it was in pre­lim­i­nary talks with the ce­ment pro­ducer about a takeover of­fer.

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