Rand slumps to three-week lows
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