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#RandReport: Rand on six-day losing streak

The rand weakened for a sixth straight session on Friday to end a miserable week as a better than expected inflation print in the US boosted the dollar.

FILE: Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened for a sixth straight session on Friday to end a miserable week as a better than expected inflation print in the United States boosted the dollar.

Stocks were led lower by profit-taking in bourse heavyweight Naspers.

By 15.00 GMT the rand had weakened 0.25% to 13.1700 per dollar, bringing losses for the week to nearly 3% with the unit languishing around 3-week lows.

The rand was whipped this week by a resurgent dollar, with subdued economic data further souring short-term sentiment and prompting traders to off-load some long positions ahead of inflation figures and an interest rates decision next week.

South Africa’s central bank is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate by another 25 basis points on 21 September, taking it to 6.5%, according to a Reuters poll.

An acceleration of US consumer prices on Thursday reignited expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again by year-end, pressuring the rand and its emerging markets peers.

On the day lower spot gold prices kept the rand on the backfoot.

Bourse heavy-weight Naspers fell 1.39% to R2,924 as investors opted to take profits after the company reached a more than two-week high on Tuesday.

The benchmark Top-40 index fell 0.49% to 49,275 points while the All-Share index lowered 0.37% to 55,645 points.

“I do get the impression that markets decided to take a little bit off the table here,” Independent Securities trader Ryan Woods said.

Further losses came from Impala Platinum which dropped 6.98% to R34.23, extending losses to a more than one month low after reporting reported a 2017 loss in the previous session.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 1.5 basis point to 8.405%.

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