TRUWTHS: 7,137 -44 (-0.61%)
South Africa's rand, stocks lifted by strong retail data
JOHANNESBURG, Jan 16 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand and
local stocks strengthened on Wednesday as retail sales rose more
than expected, helping ease concerns over dismal mining data a
At 1600 GMT, the rand traded at 13.7200 per dollar,
0.2 percent stronger than its previous close and continuing a
strong start to 2019.
Retail sales rose 3.1 percent year on year in November,
versus expectations for a rise of 2.5 percent.
"Today's figures point to some improvement on the demand
side of the economy off a low base in the final quarter of this
year," Nedbank economists said in a research note. "But the
recovery in the production side remains slow and patchy."
Mining production fell 5.6 percent year on year in November.
On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), stocks rose as
Grocery retailer Pick n Pay rose 1.87 percent to
75.59 rand, while clothing firm Truworths gained 1.61
percent to 89.08 rand and apparel and homeware retailer Mr Price
increased 1.62 percent to 259.14 rand.
Some retailers struggled to lift earnings and sales last
year, as elevated household debts, higher fuel prices and an
increase in value-added tax squeezed consumer income.
But Wednesday's data showed Black Friday sales gave a boost
to retailers in November.
The JSE's Top-40 index ended up 0.6 percent at
47,665 points, while the All-share index rose 0.5
percent to 53,786 points.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla and Alexander Winning;
Editing by Alison Williams)
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