Rand plummets as Dubai doubts kick in
JOHANNESBURG: The rand fell sharply to a three-week low against the dollar yesterday as investors dumped riskier assets amid debt woes in Dubai, before staging a strong recovery on profit-taking later.
The local stock index ended weaker, with gold shares the top losers.
The Johannesburg Top-40 index lost 0.84 percent to 24 271.03 points, while the broader All-Share index slipped 0.8 percent to 26 808.74 points. At 1539 GMT the rand traded 1.12 percent firmer at 7.4111 against the dollar compared to Thursday’s 7.4950.
The JSE gold index shed 1.89 percent as investors’ fears of a possible Dubai debt default sent bullion down nearly 5 percent to a one-week low. Gold Fields dropped 3.23 percent to 107.99 rand followed by Harmony Gold, which slid 2.96 percent to R81.50.
Petrochemicals giant Sasol fell 2.36 per- cent to R290 as the oil price dropped more than 3 percent to about $74.
Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest bank by assets gained 1.26 percent to R96.80.
Government bonds were fir mer after Thurday’s heavy sell-off, pushing yields down, with the 2015 note dipping 3.5 basis points to 8.465 percent while that for the 2036 bond was down 6.5 basis points to 8.97 percent. – Reuters