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#RandReport: Rand retreats as French vote boosts developed markets

At 1500 GMT, the rand had fallen 0.91% to 13.5425 per dollar compared to a close of 13.4200 on Friday in New York.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened on Monday, giving back some of Friday's strong gains as investors favoured developed market currencies after the French election result calmed fears the country would follow Britain out of the European Union.

At 1500 GMT, the rand had fallen 0.91% to 13.5425 per dollar compared to a close of 13.4200 on Friday in New York.

Selling of long dollar positions helped lift the rand away from one-month lows on Friday, but the greenback has since recovered as a victory by centrist Emmanuel Macron in France elections boosted developed markets.

"Markets currently pricing the relative certainty of a interest rate hike in the US in June, and the emergence of a market, euro friendly French president," Nedbank Capital analysts said in a note.

Government bonds firmed, and the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 fell 1 basis point to 8.725%.
On the bourse, stocks were slightly higher with AngloGold Ashanti in focus after the bullion miner reported a 16% drop in quarterly profit.

The blue-chip JSE Top-40 index was up 0.14% at 47,076 and the broader All-share index lost 0.22% to 53,696.

AngloGold reported a 16% fall in quarterly core profit, or EBITDA, weighed down by lower production and higher costs at its domestic mines.

In reaction, shares in Africa's biggest gold producer fell 1.86% to R147.70.

On the flipside, MTN sparkled, rising 1.95% to R118.77, after the mobile phone operator said it had reached a non-binding agreement to invest more than $295 million in fixed-line broadband firm Iranian Net.

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