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#RandReport: Rand eases amid global trade worries

Investors have been nervous about the Friday deadline when Washington is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods from China.

FILE: Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s rand weakened on Wednesday, giving up earlier gains despite the dollar treading water, amid global trade tensions before a US deadline to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

At 15.15 GMT, the rand traded at 13.7350 per dollar, 0.46% weaker than its close on Tuesday.

Worried about the impact of a full-scale trade war, investors have been nervous about the Friday deadline when Washington is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods from China. Beijing has vowed to match any moves with tariffs on US products.

“With trade tensions escalating by the day, market caution is set to remain a recurring theme moving forward,” FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga said. “Emerging market currencies are likely to be caught in the crossfire of the escalating tensions with the rand falling into the category.”

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark paper due in 2026 fell 9 basis points to 8.75%.

On the bourse, the Top-40 index was up 0.17% to 51,374 points and the broader All-Share index rose 0.19% to 57,600.

The gold index was up 1% as AngloGold Ashanti rose 2.4% to R118.26, followed by Gold Fields. It gained 0.8% to R48.78 after gold prices rose to a one-week high on Wednesday, rebounding from a seven-month low in the previous session.

Among the biggest fallers, Healthcare provider Netcare was down 2.5% to R27.70 and miner BHP Billiton 2.77% to R295.65.