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#RandReport: Rand weakens on political jitters, stocks flat

At 1515 GMT, the rand traded at 13.3850 per dollar, down from its New York close of 13.3650 on Thursday.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand fell on Friday amid political jitters as the state power company reinstated its former chief executive, who had resigned after being implicated in a report by the anti-graft watchdog into alleged influence-peddling.

At 1515 GMT, the rand traded at 13.3850 per dollar, down from its New York close of 13.3650 on Thursday. The currency had weakened to 13.4825/dollar earlier in the session.

NKC African Economics analysts said in a note that news that Brian Molefe would return next week as CEO of power utility Eskom had hit the local currency.

Molefe stepped down in last November following a report by the Public Protector that raised questions over coal deals between Eskom and a company controlled by the Gupta family.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 4 basis points to 8.705%.

On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index dropped percent to 47,430 points while the All-Share index dipped 0.09% to 54,063 points.

Richemont's South African-listed shares fell 5.09% to R108.34 after the Swiss-listed luxury goods company posted a drop in full year profit.

Local rand-hedged stocks - which make the bulk of their revenue outside South Africa and tend to rise as the rand weakens - led gainers.

"We have seen a little bit of weakness creeping into rand hedges, particularly Richemont. There was a miss on their results this morning and the market didn't take too kindly to that," said Independent Securities trader Ryan Woods.

Among the biggest fallers, Net 1 dropped 5.30% to R134.00, BHP Billiton fell 0.65% to R200.89 and ArcelorMittal fell 2.47% to R7.51.

The gold sector benefited from safe-haven buying. Goldfields rose 3.09% to R48.01 and AngloGold gained 1.58% to R153.34.

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