FirstRand and Standard give market a slight pick-up
THE rand firmed against the dollar yesterday after US employment growth unexpectedly slowed, cooling bets on a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve that could drain capital away from emerging markets.
Stocks ticked up slightly, buoyed by banking group FirstRand .
At 1500 GMT, the rand traded at 13.8300 per dollar, 0.45 percent firmer from its New York close.
On the stock market, the benchmark Top-40 index was 0.1 percent firmer at 45,112 points and the All-Share index also up 0.1 percent to 51,662.
FirstRand was the strongest blue-chip, gaining 1.9 percent to R47.13, while Standard Bank was up 0.9 percent to R146.46 .
Gold mining stocks continued losses for a fifth day, with Sibanye Gold ending the week 20.5 percent weaker after the worst week for the precious metal this year. Sibanye, a bullion producer with an interest in platinum, shed 2.5 percent to an 8-month low of R39.
Trade was below par with around 240 million shares changing hands, compared with last year’s daily average of 296 million, according to preliminary bourse data.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 1 basis point to 8.685 percent. – Reuters