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Africa, Forex

S.African rand slips after dollar jumps on strong U.S. jobs report

(Updates prices to reflect afternoon trade)

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 5 (Reuters) – The South African rand slumped on Friday against a buoyed dollar after U.S. July employment report came in better than expected, raising the prospect for a large interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve at its next meeting to tame soaring inflation.

Data showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 528,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since February, while analysts were expecting an increase of 250,000 jobs.

At 1525 GMT, the rand traded at 16.7800 against the dollar, down1.07% from its previous close.

The dollar index, which tracks the currency against six major rivals, was last up more than 1% at 106.84.

There have been few major domestic economic data releases this week, with local investor attention instead pinned on global drivers including the outlook for U.S. monetary policy and the risk of a global recession.

Among the data points, central bank figures on Friday showed South Africa’s reserves dipped to $53.737 billion in July from $53.813 billion in June.

Stocks on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) rose on Friday, partly helped by companies in the mining sector including AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, which jumped 4.37% after reporting an increase in half-year production.

Overall on the JSE, the benchmark all-share index closed 1.17% higher at 69,519 points, while the blue-chip index of top 40 companies ended up 1.26% at 63,114 points.

The South African government’s benchmark 2030 bond fell, with the yield up 6.5 basis points to 10.285%. (Reporting by Alexander Winning and Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Toby Chopra and David Evans)

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