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#RandReport: Rand hits 3-week high vs dollar

The weaker-than-expected data knocked the dollar from its 2018 highs, benefiting gold because a weaker greenback makes bullion cheaper for users of other currencies.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand hit a three-week high against the dollar on Friday as the greenback eased from its 2018 peak against a basket of major currencies, while payment solutions provider Net 1 UEPS Technologies topped stock gainers.

At 15.12 GMT, the rand traded at 12.2700 per dollar, 0.32% firmer than its close on Thursday. The currency had earlier tightened up to 12.1800/dollar, its strongest since 23 April.

“It’s just a carry-on from the rest of the week. We’ve seen the dollar under pressure across the board. Emerging markets are also all in positive territory today,” said Rand Merchant Bank forex trader Jan Sluis-Cremer.

He added: “We really should be targeting the 11.9500 area in the coming session.”

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due 2026 fell 4.5 basis points to 8.345%, reflecting firmer prices.

In the equities market, the Johannesburg All-Share index closed 0.72% higher at 58,422 points, while the blue-chip Top-40 index climbed 0.64% to 51,822 points.

Payment solutions provider Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc topped the gainers after reporting a 10% increase in third-quarter revenue.

Net 1 climbed to its biggest daily gain in 2-1/2-weeks, jumping 19.69% to R127.

The gold index rose 0.82% to 1,068 points as bullion was set for its first weekly gain in four weeks after soft US inflation data suggested the Federal Reserve might show caution on the pace of interest rate rises.

The weaker-than-expected data knocked the dollar from its 2018 highs, benefiting gold because a weaker greenback makes bullion cheaper for users of other currencies, while lower bond yields make non-yielding gold more attractive to investors.

Harmony Gold rose 2.74% to R24.35, while AngloGold Ashanti climbed 1.49% to R111.99.