A street trader counts out change for a customer in Durban

South Africa rand weakens against rebounding greenback, stocks rise

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand reversed earlier gains to fall 1 percent as the dollar firmed, with the local currency trimming gains partly caused by a raft of measures meant to revive the economy announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Stocks gained ground as global markets rallied on easing concerns over the United States and China trade dispute.

The rand was 0.79 percent weaker at 14.4000 per dollar at 1420 GMT.

The dollar, which is still set for its biggest weekly drop since February, rebounded as investors consolidated positions before the weekend.

The rand had firmed to trade at a session best of 14.2000 to the dollar after Ramaphosa announced a multi-billion-dollar stimulus programme.

"The rand is not alone. Many emerging market currencies have given up some ground, the Turkish lira, Russian rouble and Mexican peso on dollar strength," ETM economist Halen Bothma said.

"The rand has worked hard over the last two days and the stimulus package is nice but is not going to change the economic growth outlook."

In fixed income bonds were slightly weaker, with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 up 1 basis point to 9.100 percent.

On the bourse, the top 40 index rose 1.37 percent to 51,107 points. The broader all share index was 1.26 percent higher at 57,259 points.

Global markets reached their highest levels in more than six months as investors took the view that the latest exchange of tariffs between the United States and China may be less damaging than initially feared. On the downside, food distributor Bid Corporation Ltd (Bidcorp) fell 3.11 percent after it said the prospective buyer for its UK logistics business is no longer interested in buying it, citing internal reasons.

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, Patricia Aruo and Nomvelo Chalumbira; Editing by James Macharia)

First Published: 2018-09-21 09:34:37
Updated 2018-09-21 17:36:18


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