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Rand slides as lira plunge triggers EM sell-off

The rand’s weakness this week has also come after concerns over South Africa’s economic outlook.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

JOHANNESBURG – The rand weakened 2% against the dollar, tracking its emerging market peers lower as the Turkish lira slid.

At 10.05 GMT, the rand traded at 14.9900 per dollar, 1.78% weaker from its overnight close of 14.7275. Earlier it touched a session low of 15.0300.

Emerging market currencies were under fresh pressure on Friday, with Turkey’s lira fell 7% to the dollar despite central bank measures earlier in the week.

“The Turkish Lira has been sold off quite aggressively and emerging markets are being put under a lot of pressure as a result,” said Andre Botha, a currency trader at Treasury One.

The rand had recovered some losses in early trade after being rattled overnight by the news that the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters had introduced a bill to nationalise the central bank.

Nedbank analysts wrote in a note that the nationalisation debate was likely to keep the local unit on the back foot.

The rand’s weakness this week has also come after concerns over South Africa’s economic outlook.

Government bonds also weakened, with the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 was up 11 basis points at 9.105%.

On the bourse, the All-Share index rose 0.50% to 56,844 points while the top 40 index was 0.58% higher.

The market recovered in tandem with South Africa’s Naspers shares, which rose 1.64% to R3,197 after weakening earlier this week when Internet giant Tencent Holdings posted its first surprise profit decline in nearly 13 years. On Friday, Tencent rebounded, rising 3.44%.

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