Rand weak­ens, rate cut spec­u­la­tion for 2011

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - BUSINESS -

THE rand weak­ened slightly yes­ter­day as in­vestors shunned riskier as­sets af­ter a down­grade of Ire­land, and stocks fell as gold min­ers drew profit tak­ing.

The rand re­versed ear­lier gains to hit a ses­sion low of 6.8570 to the dol­lar. By 1533 GMT, it was trad­ing at 6.8545. “It weak­ened a bit as the euro took a smack af­ter that Ire­land down­grade,” said a lo­cal trader.

The rand has gained nearly 30 per­cent since the be­gin­ning of 2009, mainly due to in­creased in­flows into the bond mar­ket. An­a­lysts ex­pect this phe­nom­e­non to con­tinue in 2011, push­ing the rand even firmer.

Bonds firmed on in­creas­ing spec­u­la­tion that the Re­serve Bank could cut rates again in the New Year.

The Top-40 blue-chip in­dex slipped 0.23 per­cent to 28 215.48 points and the broader All-share in­dex fell by the same mar­gin to 31 631.07.

An­gloGold Ashanti dropped 4.82 per­cent to R329.32 and ri­val Har­mony fell 2.94 per­cent to R85.43. Ju­nior miner Wesizwe Plat­inum surged 11.68 per­cent to R2.20.

RMB Hold­ings gained 2.87 per­cent to R38. – Reuters

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