#RandReport: Rand weaker as risk appetite wanes, stocks up

At 1525 GMT the rand was 0.46% weaker at R12.0825 per dollar compared to its opening of R11.9725. The rand slipped to its weakest since 19 March.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s currency weakened against the dollar on Monday, slipping to its weakest in more than two weeks in a broad sell-off of emerging market currencies as fears of a US-China trade war weighed on global risk appetite.

At 1525 GMT the rand was 0.46% weaker at R12.0825 per dollar compared to its opening of R11.9725. The rand slipped to its weakest since 19 March and threatened to touch a 2-month low. Stocks rose, meanwhile.

On Monday, China upped its retaliation to President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs. Beijing has said it would be impossible to negotiate under “current circumstances”, assigning blame to Washington for the rising tension.

“It’s a big risk-off scenario, with general sell-off of emerging markets, which are under pressure as the war of words about imposing tariffs is being exchanged between the US and China,” said chief currency dealer from Treasury One, Wichard Cilliers.

In the fixed income market, bonds were also weaker, with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 up 2.5 basis points to 8.08%.

On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index rose 0.51% to 49,391 points while the All-Share index rose 0.38% to 56,092 points.

Local shares benefited from positive sentiment for emerging markets stocks, with the wider emerging market benchmark up 0.2%.

Among the biggest gainers on the All-share, EOH Holdings rose 11.26 percent to R47.94, real estate firm Resilient REIT gained 6.96 % to R 63.50 Royal Bafokeng Platinum lifted 2.74% to R26.25.