SHOPRIT: 18,906 -194 (-1.02%)
South Africa's rand firms as dollar hit by Trump Fed comments
* Rand gains more than 1 percent
* Bourse ends little-changed
* Gold stocks benefit from higher bullion prices
(Updates prices, adds stocks)
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed
on Tuesday as the dollar weakened after U.S. President Donald
Trump criticised the head of the Federal Reserve for raising
At 1550 GMT the rand was 1.27 percent firmer at
14.3450 per dollar, its firmest since Thursday, in what traders
said was the beginning of a consolidation pattern with momentum
indicators showing the unit was oversold.
The rand crashed to a two-year low last week as the
financial crisis in Turkey rattled emerging markets broadly,
adding to concerns about the impact of the U.S.-China trade spat
on global economic growth.
In an interview with Reuters, Trump said he was "not
thrilled" with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for
raising interest rates, clobbering the dollar.
The impact of Trump's comments on U.S. monetary policy
outweighed him saying that he was not anticipating much from
this week's trade talks between the United States and China.
Investors are hoping that the discussions will go some way
towards resolving the damaging dispute.
Locally, market focus was on July consumer price inflation
data due on Wednesday.
"Tomorrow's inflation data for July is likely to illustrate
whether and to what extent the rand depreciation of the past few
months will be reflected in higher consumer prices despite the
weaker economy," Commberzbank analysts said in a note.
"If inflation was to come in above expectations this would
probably fuel rate hike expectations, which might support the
rand. Conversely a weaker-than-expected rate might provide
additional depreciation pressure for the rand."
Bonds also firmed, with the yield on the benchmark 2026
paper down 5 basis points to 8.985 percent.
The blue chip top 40-index closed little changed at
51,126 points while the all-share index was largely
steady at 57,187 points.
The gold index, however, rose 2.37 percent as the
bullion prices touched a one-week high on weaker dollar.
Harmony Gold's shares were up 2.47 percent
--tracking the gold price -- despite posting a 43 percent fall
in annual earnings on Tuesday, hurt by impairments and a loss
relating to debt denominated in U.S. dollars, and a setback to
its safety record.
Africa's biggest grocer Shoprite bucked the trend
as shares fell more than 4 percent after it reported its first
annual earnings decline in 19 years, due to a currency
devaluation in Angola and a lacklustre showing in its home South
African market and elsewhere on the continent.
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Patricia Aruo
Editing by James Macharia)
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