NEDCOR:  24,995   0 (0.00%)  22/03/2019 00:00

South African rand falls as risk appetite wanes, stocks up

* Rand falls as dollar recovers on Trump tweet

* Stocks up led by banks (Updates figures, fresh quotes, gives detail)

JOHANNESBURG, April 12 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand weakened against a stronger dollar on Thursday as rising tensions between Russia and the United States over Syria curbed risk appetite, while stocks rose led by banks.

At 1540 GMT the rand was 0.61 percent weaker at 12.0125 per dollar, compared to Wednesday's close of 11.9400.

The greenback rebounded after a four-day losing streak after U.S. President Donald Trump backed away on Thursday from promising a swift military strike against Syria, saying it "could be very soon or not so soon at all".

"The dollar pulled back initially after President Trump's tweet ... but that seems to have dissipated. The dollar is stronger across the board," said Rand Merchant Bank forex trader Jan Sluis-Cremer.

Taking direction from global events, the rand largely ignored data showing mining output rose in February, pointing to continued recovery in the domestic economy, even though economists say the economic rebound will be at a slower pace following poor manufacturing data earlier in the week.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond fell 1.5 basis point to 8.08 percent.

On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index rose 0.68 percent to 49,809 points while the All-Share index gained 0.55 percent to 56,481 points.

The banking index, considered the barometer of both economic sentiment, rose 1.96 percent with Standard Bank up 2.99 percent to 215.18 rand and Nedbank lifting 1.82 percent to 290.70 rand.

"Generally a firmer feel about the market with less risk off and more risk on," said Cratos Capital equities trader Greg Davies.

Further gains came from Steinhoff which rose 1.66 percent to 2.45 rand after it raised 3.75 billion rand from the sale of some of its stake in Steinhoff Africa Retail in an effort to cut debt. (Reporting by Nomvelo Chalumbira and Tanisha Heiberg Editing by James Macharia)

2018-04-12 17:41:46

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