Rand up against dollar, but pulls shares down
JOHANNESBURG: The rand gained against the dollar yesterday after trade data showed a surplus in December, but the strong currency weighed on mining shares, dragging the bourse down.
Government bonds fir med further on short covering and heightened expectations for an interest-rate cut after data highlighted weak demand in the economy.
The JSE Top-40 index of blue chips was off 0.55 percent at 24 041.26 points and the broader All-share index was off 0.45 percent at 26 675.95 points.
The rand was trading at 7.55 against the dollar at 1544 GMT, 0.59 percent firmer than its New York close of 7.60 on Thursday.
Data yesterday showed the trade account recorded a surplus in December and the deficit for 2009 was narrower than the previous year. This eases pressure on the current account, which has weighed on the rand.
The yield on the 2015 bond fell 5.5 basis points to 8.385 percent, while that on the 2036 note was down 1 basis point to 9.08 percent.
Data has this week increased expectations of an interest rate cut after the central bank’s dovish tone earlier. – Reuters