#RandReport: Rand recovers as risk appetite emerges, stocks ease
The rand had firmed 0.83 percent after reaching 1.12 percent earlier to 13.9550 from Monday's close.
JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed on Tuesday from record lows against the dollar earlier in the session as risk appetite increased, while stocks fell to their lowest in more than a week.
The rand firmed alongside currencies in other emerging markets, with Russia's rouble and the lira both strengthening against the dollar as the risk aversion that rocked emerging currencies in the previous session abated.
At 1542 GMT the rand had firmed 0.83 percent after reaching 1.12 percent earlier to 13.9550 from Monday's close.
"It's more positioning than anything at the moment," said Ion de Vleeschauwer, chief forex dealer at Bidvest Bank.
"We've seen a nice pull back so this is just a little bit of correction after a risk-off trade."
The general tone, nevertheless, remained very negative and the pressure on the rand appeared relentless ahead of US jobs data due on Friday.
Uncertainty around when the US Federal Reserve will raise rates, deepening concerns about the health of the global economy and a recent sharp correction in stock markets also weighed on the local currency.
Government bonds were mixed, with the yield benchmark 2026 issue adding 0.5 basis points at 8.6 percent.
On the bourse, stocks ended slightly lower, extending the decline the third session in row with insurer MMI Holdings topping the decliners' list after a broker downgrade.
MMI Holdings dropped 3 percent to 23.12 rand, making it the biggest loser on the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index, after Credit Suisse cut its rating on the stock to 'neutral' from 'outperform'.
Overall, traders took their cue from other overseas equity markets as worries about global growth and demand for industrial metals weigh on sentiment but some traders said the recent sell-off might have pushed some shares into oversold territory.
"Stocks continue to slide across the globe, it is just a matter of time before bargains become real buys," said Vestact, a boutique asset management house in Johannesburg.
The JSE Top-40 index was off 0.19 percent at 44,159 and the broader All-share index lost 0.22 percent to 49,383.
Trade was robust with more than 311 million shares changing, almost double last year's daily average of 183 million shares.