Rand surrenders gains, JSE retreats
THE RAND gave up its modest gains yesterday ahead of a ratings decision by Moody’s last night, erasing the benefits of higher commodity prices as traders treaded cautiously and avoided large bets.
At 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.4862 to the dollar, 13.31c softer than at the same time on Thursday, inching towards a one-month low hit late on Tuesday after President Jacob Zuma survived a no-confidence vote by secret ballot.
Market participants said focus had shifted to the Moody’s decision and the fate of an economy stuck in recession, with traders short-selling the rand and adopting a wait-andsee approach while eyeing policy and political developments.
Meanwhile, stocks dropped to one- and- a- half week lows, their worst daily performance since mid-July, as market heavyweight Naspers weakened after China launched a cyber investigation into its top social media sites. weakened 2.83 percent to R2 764.53.
The JSE all share index declined 0.98 percent to 55 155.13 points, while the Top40 index retreated 1.09 percent to close at 48 766.71 points. – Reuters