Rand falls against the dol­lar to reach a two-week low

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - OPINION -

THE rand fell to its weak­est level in al­most two weeks against the dol­lar yes­ter­day, and fur­ther losses are ex­pected next week if a US rate rise looks more likely or if rat­ings agen­cies give neg­a­tive re­views on South Africa’s credit rat­ing.

Stocks ended more than 1 per­cent lower, with me­dia group Naspers among the big­gest losers. Min­ing com­pa­nies took the most points off the bench­mark in­dex.

The rand touched a ses­sion low of 14.3960 to the dol­lar, its weak­est since mid-Novem­ber, and was trad­ing down 0.23 per­cent on the day by 1506 GMT, at 14.3240.

Gov­ern­ment bonds fol­lowed suit, and the yield on debt due in 2026 climbed 4.5 ba­sis points to 8.56 per­cent.

In stocks, the blue-chip JSE Top-40 in­dex was down 1.17 per­cent at 46 3247 and the broader All-share in­dex fell 1.13 per­cent to 51 637. An­glo Amer­i­can fell 5.26 per­cent to R87.22 af­ter its Lon­don-listed par­ent com­pany said it would shut down an Aus­tralian coal mine. Ri­val BHP Bil­li­ton shed 3.31 per­cent to R173.82.

Chi­nese shares slumped 5 per­cent yes­ter­day, hit by in­dus­trial sec­tor wor­ries. Naspers shares fell 3.68 per­cent to R2 143.15 af­ter the com­pany said it might raise $2.5 bil­lion to fund ac­qui­si­tions. – Reuters

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