FirstRand and Stan­dard give mar­ket a slight pick-up

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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