NEDCOR: 21,754 -599 (-2.68%)
South Africa’s rand crosses 14.00 threshold, stocks gain
* Rand rallies to 6-week best on global yield hunt
* Stocks lifted by banks, retailers
(Adds latest prices, analyst comments)
JOHANNESBURG, April 10 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand
firmed below the 14.00 threshold on Wednesday for the first time
in six weeks as a softer dollar boosted investor appetite for
On the bourse, the financial and retail sectors topped the
JSE after S&P Global Ratings stable economic outlook, while
miner Sibanye-Stillwater took a blow after selling shares to
At 1500 GMT the rand had strengthened 1.01 percent
to 13.9350 per dollar compared to its open of 14.0950,
outperforming other emerging market currencies such as the
Turkish lira and the Mexican peso.
The last time the rand traded below 14.00 was on Feb. 27.
The dollar has softened because of weak economic
data, fresh global trade tensions between the United States and
Europe, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cutting its
global growth forecast.
"The carry trade for the month has been very active. There's
a lot of foreigners buying bonds in South Africa and that's
helping the rand outperform other currencies for the day," said
Treasury One chief currency dealer Wichard Cilliers.
The rand's gains may be short-lived however with the current
boost caused by mainly external factors, Cilliers said.
In equities, the Johannesburg All-Share index
gained 0.73 percent to 58,261 points, while the Top-40 index
rose 0.87 percent to 52,003 points.
Clothing retailer Mr Price rose 5.96 percent to
208.00, Shoprite was up 4.22 percent to 169.20, while
Nedbank gained by 4.1 percent to 265.44.
Comments from ratings firms S&P and Moody's were good news
and were keeping the equity market in positive territory, said
Maudi Lentsoane, trader at Lehumo Investments.
"A stronger rand means lower inflation, which means more
money for South Africans as the interest rates are not going to
be high, which is positive for the retailers and the financial
sector," said Lentsoane.
On the downside, Sibanye-Stillwater declined
nearly 16 percent to 14.29. Fellow platinum miner Lonmin, which
Sibanye is looking to acquire, also took a knock, contracting
12.85 percent to 13.63.
"They sold [their shares] at a discount so the market is
essentially pricing in that offer, and marking the shares down
to around where the new shares were issued," said Greg
Katzenellenbogen, a trader at Sanlam private wealth.
(Reporting by Naledi Mashishi and Onke Ngcuka
Editing by Frances Kerry)
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