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Africa, Forex

South Africa’s rand gains as dollar falls back, stocks flat

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JOHANNESBURG, Oct 19 – South Africa’s rand rose on Tuesday, gaining back some ground lost a day earlier thanks to a softer dollar, while stocks closed little changed as they struggled for direction.

At 1526 GMT, the rand traded at 14.5345 against the dollar, 1.0% stronger than its previous close.

The currency had dipped on Monday, dented by third quarter economic data from China showing the slowest pace of growth in a year, which prompted investors to sell riskier assets like the rand.

However weak manufacturing data from the United States knocked the dollar on Tuesday, along with a recovery in risk sentiment and as U.S. Treasury yields paused, helping to lift the rand back up.

“Following a tough first session to the new week, the ZAR has recovered in overnight trade as the USD fell to the bottom of its recent range amid improving risk appetite,” ETM Analytics said in a note.

Stocks were little changed, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s All-Share index at 66,776 points, inching down 0.02%, while the Top-40 Index edged down 0.05%.

A rally in technology shares failed to lift stocks as resources weighed on the bourse. The resource index fell 0.53%, led by miner Glencore down 4.1%.

This week the local data calendar is light, with the September consumer price index on Wednesday likely to attract most attention and give direction.

Government bonds strengthened, with the yield on the instrument due in 2030 dropping 1 basis point to 9.380%. (Reporting by Emma Rumney and Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Angus MacSwan)


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