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