South Africa's rand, stocks end 2017 on high note
(Adds latest prices and year performance)
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 29 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand was
firmer on Friday, the last trading day of the year, as continued
volatility in low liquidity conditions saw the currency touch
and then retreat from levels near its 2-1/2 year best.
At 1100 GMT the rand was 0.8 percent firmer at
12.3100 per dollar, with technical buying kicking-in first at
12.4000 and then at the 12.3300, both recent support levels.
The unit is now trading below its 200-day moving average, a
confirmation of the firmer price trend likely to spur further
buying interest into the new year.
The rand, along with fellow emerging markets currencies have
benefited from the dollar shedding more than 9 percent in
2017 despite the U.S. Federal Reserve delivering three rate
The currency is about 13 percent firmer than it was in
Since Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president Jacob Zuma's
successor as head of the African National Congress (ANC) last
Monday, the rand has gained close to 10 percent against the
dollar, making it one of the best performers among EM
The rand largely ignored the Constitutional Court ruling
that parliament had failed to hold Zuma to account over a
scandal related to state-funded upgrades to his home, and must
launch proceedings that could remove him from
Having ended Thursday's local trading session on the back
foot as investors took profits on the rally that carried the
unit to 12.2400, its firmest since June 2015, the rand regained
momentum in offshore trade, racing to a session best 12.2825
Momentum indicators showed the rand on the day had strayed
into oversold territory, and traders said this partly explained
Bonds were weaker, with the yield on benchmark paper due in
2026 up 1.5 basis points to 8.585 percent.
South African main stock indices ended 2017 between 17.5 and
19.65 percent higher, mirroring global rallies fueled by
increased optimism about the global economy.
But they remain short of the record peaks scaled in
November, brought back to earth by a collapse in the share price
of market heavyweight and retailer Steinhoff
following its disclosure of accounting irregularities and the
exit of its chief executive.
Technical factors also weighed on the market as momentum
indicators tracked by analysts consistently showed the market
was overbought each time a new high was reached.
On Friday, then the market closed at midday ahead of the New
Year holiday, the benchmark Top-40 index ended the
session 0.89 percent higher at 52,533.04 while the wider
all-share index added 0.94 percent to end the year at
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Ed Stoddard)
© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.