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South Africa's rand firmer on positive retail data; stocks fall
* Rand strengthens
* Stocks knocked lower
(Updates rand and stocks)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 12 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed
in late afternoon deals on Wednesday as stronger retail sales
data dimmed the spotlight on economic growth concerns, while
stocks followed global equities down.
At 1520 GMT, the rand was 0.81 percent stronger at
14.9425 against the dollar.
"The latest retail sales figures add to the evidence that
South Africa's economy made a strong start to Q3," analysts
Capital Economics said in a note.
Retail sales rose 1.3 percent year-on-year in July after
increasing by a revised 1.8 percent in June, official data
The economy slid into recession in the second quarter,
weighed down largely by weak consumer spending.
On the bourse, the blue chip top 40 index shed 0.45
percent to 49,815 points while the all share index fell
by 0.40 percent to 55,952 points.
"We are in a perfect storm locally and as part of the
emerging market with the trade war going on," said Ferdi
Heyneke, portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities.
"The general sentiment locally has been negative with the
GDP recently and business confidence figures have been low."
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States was
taking a tough stance with China, cementing expectations that
new levies on Chinese exports will soon be announced and putting
pressure on global markets.
South Africa's business confidence fell in August to 90.5
from 94.7 in July, a survey showed on Wednesday following the
country's slide into recession last week.
Dairy company Clover Industries closed down 0.75
percent after reporting that normalised annual profit, which
excluded 439 million rand ($29.25 million) in impairment, had
more than tripled.
In fixed income, government bonds were slightly stronger,
with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 ZAR186=
falling 2.5 basis points to 9.170 percent.
(Reporting by Patricia Aruo and Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by
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