SHOPRIT: 18,779 -142 (-0.75%)
South African rand dips on dollar resurgence, stocks rise
* Rand dampened by dollar boost
* Stocks higher on global markets rally
(Adds trader comment; Updates figures)
JOHANNESBURG, July 18 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand was
slightly weaker on Wednesday despite better-than-anticipated
inflation and retail sales figures, as the dollar reached
At 1500 GMT the rand was trading 0.09 percent weaker to the
dollar at 13.2775.
South Africa's headline consumer inflation quickened,
although less than expected, to 4.6 percent year-on-year in June
from 4.4 percent in May, while retail sales rose 1.9 percent in
May after increasing by 0.5 percent in April, data showed.
The dollar was boosted by traders responding positively to
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's assurance of steady
Powell told congress on Tuesday that he believed the United
States was on course for years more of steady growth, and he
played down the risks to the U.S. economy of an escalating trade
"The comments by the Fed chairman caused major currencies to
depreciate against the dollar, and the rand and other emerging
markets followed," said chief currency dealer at TreasuryOne,
"It is going to be a struggle for emerging markets and the
rand to gain any further momentum with the dollar being where it
is at the moment," he said.
South Africa's Reserve Bank will announce its interest rate
decision on Thursday and is expected to leave rates unchanged at
In fixed income, bonds were flat with the yield on the
benchmark issue due in 2026 up 0.1 basis point to 8.68 percent.
On the bourse, stocks closed higher for a second straight
session in line with global markets which hit one-month highs.
The Johannesburg Top-40 index closed up 0.35
percent at 50,168 points, while the broader All-Share index
rose 0.22 percent to 56,237 points.
Among the biggest gainers, South African retailer Steinhoff
climbed 6.38 percent to 3 rand after it extended for a
second time the "early bird fee" deadline for creditors to sign
a three-year agreement to hold off their debt claims.
Africa's biggest supermarket chain Shoprite Holdings
was among the biggest decliners, shedding 3.73 percent
to 212.30 rand after its annual turnover was lower than analyst
(Reporting by Patricia Aruo and Nomvelo Chalumbira
Editing by Ed Stoddard)
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