#RandReport: Rand rand weakens, CPI in focus

At 1500 GMT, the rand traded at 13.2125 per dollar, 0.36% weaker than its New York close on Monday.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened on Tuesday as traders held their positions ahead of local consumer price data on Wednesday and the US Federal Reserve's annual central banking conference.

But stocks ended on the front foot with Shoprite among the top gainers after the grocer retailer slightly beat estimates and defied recession with double digit annual profit growth.

At 1500 GMT, the rand traded at 13.2125 per dollar, 0.36% weaker than its New York close on Monday.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark paper due in 2026 rose one basis point to 8.535%.

Rand Merchant Bank analyst Michelle Wohlberg said markets were expected to remain relatively muted ahead of consumer price inflation figures on Wednesday and Fed's Jackson Hole symposium, where remarks by Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be the main focus.

Investors are eyeing local CPI data for clues on the timing of further monetary policy easing after the South African Reserve Bank unexpectedly cut benchmark lending rates in July.

Market consensus is for CPI to slow to 4.6% year-on-year in July from 5.1% in June.

On the bourse, the JSE Top-40 index added 1.14% to 49,588 and the broader All-share index gained 1% to 56,033.

Shoprite, Africa biggest retailer, was in demand, surging 8% to R217 after reporting a 12% jump in the annual profit and said it expected momentum to continue to the 2018 fiscal year.