ANGGOLD:  14,305   -350 (-2.39%)  16/10/2018 00:00

South African rand hits 3-week high vs dollar

* Rand 0.32 pct firmer on weaker dollar

* Net 1 tops stock gainers

* Gold stocks shine on soft U.S. inflation data (Adds stocks, quote)

JOHANNESBURG, May 11 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand hit a three-week high against the dollar on Friday as the greenback eased from its 2018 peak against a basket of major currencies, while payment solutions provider Net 1 UEPS Technologies topped stock gainers.

At 1512 GMT, the rand traded at 12.2700 per dollar, 0.32 percent firmer than its close on Thursday. The currency had earlier tightened up to 12.1800/dollar, its strongest since April 23.

"It's just a carry-on from the rest of the week. We've seen the dollar under pressure across the board. Emerging markets are also all in positive territory today," said Rand Merchant Bank forex trader Jan Sluis-Cremer.

He added: "We really should be targeting the 11.9500 area in the coming session."

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due 2026 fell 4.5 basis points to 8.345 percent, reflecting firmer prices.

In the equities market, the Johannesburg All-Share index closed 0.72 percent higher at 58,422 points, while the blue chip Top-40 index climbed 0.64 percent to 51,822 points.

Payment solutions provider Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc topped the gainers after reporting a 10 percent increase in third-quarter revenue.

Net 1 climbed to its biggest daily gain in 2-1/2-weeks, jumping 19.69 percent to 127 rand.

The gold index rose 0.82 percent to 1,068 points as bullion was set for its first weekly gain in four weeks after soft U.S. inflation data suggested the Federal Reserve might show caution on the pace of interest rate rises.

The weaker-than-expected data knocked the dollar from its 2018 highs, benefiting gold because a weaker greenback makes bullion cheaper for users of other currencies, while lower bond yields make non-yielding gold more attractive to investors.

Harmony Gold rose 2.74 percent to 24.35 rand, while AngloGold Ashanti climbed 1.49 percent to 111.99 rand. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla and Patrica Aruo; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

2018-05-11 17:49:21

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