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#RandReport: Rand firms as risk sentiment revives, stocks down

At 1530 GMT the rand was 1.3% firmer at 15.1350 per dollar, off a session high of 15.0575.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed on Friday as data showed South Africa’s current account deficit narrowed, boosting investor sentiment towards the currency amid a broader recovery in emerging markets.

At 1530 GMT the rand was 1.3% firmer at 15.1350 per dollar, off a session high of 15.0575.

“It’s a bit of a better day for emerging markets as we see respite for the Turkish lira on a softer dollar,” said ETM analyst Halen Bothma. “However, it’s a cautious environment and investors are not putting in big bets.”

The current account gap narrowed to 3.3% of GDP in the second quarter, sparking significant rand demand despite Moody’s warning that the country’s slide into recession in the second quarter was credit-negative.

Bonds were also stronger, with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 down 5 basis points at 9.14% .

On the bourse, the blue chip JSE Top 40 index fell 0.12% to 50,833 points as resources stocks took a hit from the stronger rand. The broader All-share index fell 0.11% to 57,069.

The bullion index closed 1.31% weaker.

Gold producer AngloGold was among the biggest decliners, falling 3.98% to R291.40.

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