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#RandReport: Rand jittery as US yields hit multi-year highs; stocks flat

At 1514 GMT the rand was 0.2% weaker at 12.3750 per dollar in volatile trade. Earlier it set a new three-month low against the US currency.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s rand reversed early gains and traded weaker for a second day on Tuesday, as further gains for US Treasury yields supported the dollar and dented appetite for emerging market assets.

At 1514 GMT the rand was 0.2% weaker at 12.3750 per dollar in volatile trade. Earlier it set a new three-month low against the US currency.

Emerging market currencies worldwide have borne the brunt of recent dollar strength, but the rand has fallen more than most.

The South African unit had traded in a tight range since late January, but is now down around 2% since the end of last week.

Analysts said they expected the rand to continue to track global trends in the absence of closely watched local data releases.

“For the moment trade is muted. The main factors are external,” said Gerrit van Rooyen at NKC Research.

As the US 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3% for the first time in more than four years on Tuesday, appetite for South African government bonds was weak.

The yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 rose 8 basis points to 8.235%, reflecting softer bond prices.

In the equities market, both the benchmark Top-40 index and the Johannesburg All-Share index were each 0.01% lower at 50,871 points and 57,675 points respectively.

Market-heavyweight e-commerce and Pay-TV firm Naspers was responsible for the negative moves, closing 0.07% up at R3,026.

Rand hedges benefited from the slightly weaker rand, with luxury goods maker Richemont up 1.10% to R117.37. British American Tobacco gained 0.21% to R642.32 while Glencore rose 0.80% to R65.54.

Rand hedges, shares of companies with operations abroad that make the bulk of their revenue outside South Africa tend to benefit from a weaker rand.