NASPERSN:  281,827   -174 (-0.06%)  16/12/2018 00:00

South Africa's rand firms on dollar tariff slip, stocks down

* Rand ekes out gains as trade-war weariness trips dollar

* Bourse losses muted by Naspers (Adds latest prices, analyst quote)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 17 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed on Monday, as a dollar rally fuelled by signs of higher lending rates in the United States was undermined by the latest salvo in a tit-for-tat trade battle between Beijing and Washington.

Stocks fell with other global equities as investors worried about goods that could incur higher tariffs and the subsequent impact on earnings and growth.

At 1535 GMT the rand was 0.2 percent firmer at 14.8950 per dollar after a close at 14.9250 last Friday, most of those gains coming late in the session as New York traders sold dollars.

"There is a lot of EM volatility and the market overall is a little sceptical. The dust is starting to settle and EM's are becoming more lucrative and getting some value," said Andre Botha, currency trader at TreasuryOne.

Rising bets that South Africa's central bank will raise rates at its policy meeting on Thursday, in line with emerging economies such as Turkey and Argentina, have also lured back some yield-seeking investors.

Bonds took a hit, with the yield of benchmark government paper due in 2026 rising 7.5 basis points to 9.25 percent.

The blue chip top 40 index shed 0.48 percent to 50,197 points and the broader all share index was 0.5 percent softer at 56,299 points.

Market heavyweight Naspers closed 0.68 percent higher at 3,206 rand ($215) after announcing plans to spin off and separately list its pay-TV unit. "They are getting rid of a business that for the most part has not been a part of their core business for a long time," said Ryan Woods, equities trader at Independent Securities. ($1 = 14.8926 rand) (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Patricia Aruo; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

2018-09-17 17:52:24

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