#RandReport: Rand weak ahead of Fed conference, stocks slip
Stocks mirrored the currency, with the blue-chip Top-40 index falling more than one percent.
JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened against the dollar on Thursday, along with its emerging market peers ahead of the US Federal Reserve policy conference due later, as more investors anticipated a December rate hike.
Stocks mirrored the currency, with the blue-chip Top-40 index falling more than one percent, dragged by heavy losses in the resource sector.
At 1510 GMT the rand weakened 1,11 percent to 14,3065 against the greenback.
"The selling that we're seeing on the rand is in anticipation of more hawkish statements from the Federal speakers that are scheduled today," ETM Analytics market analyst Jana van Deventer said.
Traders and analysts said focus from now until the weekend was on the Fed. Five Federal Reserve members, including Chair Janet Yellen, are due to speak at the central bank's conference.
Over 80 leading economists found a 70 percent median chance that the US central bank would raise its short-term lending rate next month according to a Reuters Poll.
More added pressure came from domestic data that showed Africa's most advanced economy's mining production contracted by 4,8 percent following seven months of expansion as lower commodity prices constrained mining companies.
Government bonds weakened, with the benchmark government issue adding 5,5 basis points to 8,605 percent.
The bourse followed a global commodity rout.
Anglo American led the losses, closing 6,5 percent lower at 99,16 rand, after falling more than 8 percent earlier.
"Resource stocks or miners in general are trading below 2008 crash levels. This creates fear which leads people to make emotional decisions and thus exacerbates the moves in the market," Inkunzi Wealth Group senior trader, Petri Redlinghuys, said.
Diversified mining giant BHP Billiton was another poor performer, falling 3 percent to 193,78 rand.
Bucking the trend, gold producer AngloGold Ashanti, edged 1,19 percent up to 99,40 rand.
The Top-40 index lost 1,01 percent to 46,787 points and the broader All-share index lost 1,02 percent to 52,056 points.
Trade was rampant with more than 256 million shares changing hands, well above last year's daily average of 183 million shares.