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#RandReport: Rand recovers as firms pledge R290bn investment

The local unit has been under pressure since a gloomy budget statement by new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday.

FILE: Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand bounced back on Friday after a torrid post-budget period as global firms pledged to invest a total of R290 billion ($19.90 billion) at a conference hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The local unit has been under pressure since a gloomy budget statement by new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday, but Ramaphosa’s investment conference has offered some respite.

The rand was 0.36% stronger at 14.5675 per dollar at 1545 GMT.

Earlier the rand had weakened when rating agency Moody’s said a poor fiscal outlook in the medium-term budget policy statement was a credit negative.

Moody’s, the last of the top three rating agencies to have Pretoria’s debt at investment grade, is expected to report on its rating soon.

“Moody’s is also taking a cue from Mboweni’s hard yard and will be watching us very closely,” said Afrifocus Securities portfolio manager Cheslyn Francis.

“The rand has been a bit oversold and may see a rally in coming sessions back to the 14.5000 and 14.6000 levels.”

The yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 4 basis points to 9.33%.

In equities, the all share index fell 1.53% to 50,837 points while the blue-chip top 40 index was 1.68% lower at 44,651 points.

World stocks were set to post their worst weekly losing streak in more than five years, as anxiety over corporate profits added to fears about global trade and economic growth.

“These levels might present a buying opportunity for long-term investors who can stomach the risk and believe that the economy has a chance of a strong recovery,” said Grant Giburt, portfolio manager at Nedbank Private Wealth.

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