Views Article – Sharenet Wealth

Africa, Forex

South African assets lifted by improved global mood

(Updates rand, adds stocks)

JOHANNESBURG, July 21 (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand and local stocks gained on Wednesday, lifted by improved risk appetite on global markets.

At 1555 GMT, the rand traded at 14.5700 against the dollar, 0.4% stronger than its previous close as the U.S. currency retreated from more than three-month highs.

The rand reacted little to data showing consumer inflation slowed to 4.9% year on year in June from 5.2% in May, staying within the South African Reserve Bank’s 3% to 6% target range.

On Thursday, the focus will shift to the bank’s interest rate decision. A Reuters poll published last week predicted the bank would keep its repo rate at 3.5% as it looks through temporary high inflation and to support the economy.

Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange posted another day of gains, with the All-share index rising 1.27% to 66,558 points and the Top-40 index up 1.4% at 60,502 points.

Real estate firms underperformed, and banks and retailers advanced sluggishly following some of the worst unrest of the post-apartheid era last week.

Ryan Woods, head of trading at Independent Securities, said investors were looking to the positives for now. “The million dollar question is how long that will last?” he asked. (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Alexander Winning; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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