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South Africa's rand firms slightly, stocks gain

* Bumpy trade for rand as investors wait for new cabinet

* Stocks strengthen (Adds latest prices, analyst comments, stocks)

JOHANNESBURG, May 16 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed modestly and stocks rose on Thursday, shaking off worries about local growth and trade tensions abroad as investors bet on economic reform with President Cyril Ramaphosa preparing to name a new cabinet.

At 1430 GMT, the rand was 0.1 percent firmer at 14.2000 per dollar, following a soft start that saw the currency well above 14.2500 before offshore interest helped it stabilise.

Ramaphosa told investors on Wednesday he would act quickly on economic reforms after his ruling African National Congress (ANC) was returned to power in last week's elections.

He is due to announce a new cabinet on May 27.

There are growing signs the economy is set for a first quarter contraction with recent data showing the mining sector continued to slide while growth in the manufacturing and retail sectors remained modest.

Bonds weakened, with the benchmark 10-year yield adding 2.5 basis points to 8.445 percent.

Stocks strengthened, helped by gains in financial services group Investec.

The broader All-Share index gained 0.88 percent to 56,538 points, while the Top-40 index strengthened 0.97 percent to 50,360 points.

Investec rose 3.66 percent to 92.37 rand, after a rise in annual earnings showed its resilience in the face of a weak South African economy and Brexit. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Onke Ngcuka, editing by Larry King and Kirsten Donovan)

2019-05-16 17:47:07

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