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#RandReport: Rand rides risk sentiment higher

At 1638 GMT, the rand was trading at 12.2750 to the dollar, around 0.1% stronger than its close on Friday.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand strengthened on Monday, benefiting from an upswing in global risk appetite linked to hopes for improving trade relations between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies.

At 1638 GMT, the rand was trading at 12.2750 to the dollar, around 0.1% stronger than its close on Friday.

The South African currency hit a three-week high against the US currency last week as the dollar was under pressure on global markets.

Traders said the rand continued to respond to external factors on Monday in the absence of major local data releases, though unemployment and retail sales data are scheduled for later this week.

Investors will scrutinise those data points for signs South Africa’s economic recovery has continued to build momentum in the wake of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as head of state in February.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was little changed on Monday, falling less than 1 basis point to 8.335%.

Stocks ended the day mostly higher, with the Johannesburg All-Share index up 0.33% at 58,614 points and the Top-40 index up 0.34% at 52,000 points.

Among the best-performing shares, miner Lonmin rose over 6% on the local exchange after it narrowed its first-half operating loss and set out plans to cut spending.

Elsewhere there were gains for bourse heavyweight Naspers.