Rand slumps to three-week lows

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE rand fell to a new three-week low against the dol­lar yes­ter­day as strong US jobs data, with lo­cal eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal risks dented in­vestors’ ap­petite for the cur­rency.

At 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.4685 to the dol­lar, 7.51c softer than at the same time on Thurs­day.

The rand at­tempted a re­cov­ery in the ses­sion, touch­ing a day high of R13.3150, but gave up the gains after a strong US July pay­rolls re­port at­tracted traders to the dol­lar.

The rand was this week also hit by fears of a third credit rat­ing down­grade to “junk” be­fore a re­view by Moody’s on Au­gust 11.

The mar­ket was also cau­tious be­fore a vote on a mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence in President Ja­cob Zuma on Tues­day. Stocks ended slightly higher with Mediclinic on top of the leader board on the blue chip in­dex, up 2.73% at R130.77, after bro­ker­age house Credit Suisse raised it price tar­get on the group.

The JSE Top40 in­dex gained 0.53% to 49 506.15 points, while the all share in­dex rose 0.47% to 55 944.83 points. – Reuters

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