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#RandReport: Rand firms, stocks up as risk sentiment improves

At 1518 GMT, the rand traded at 14.2175 per dollar, 0.39% firmer than its close on Friday. The rand had earlier in the day weakened nearly 1% to 14.4100 as risk appetite waned.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s rand firmed in late afternoon trade on Monday, recovering from losses earlier in the session, as a dollar rally paused with investors taking profits before US midterm elections that may fuel a bout of volatility for global markets.

Stocks gained for a fourth consecutive session as positive risk sentiment upheld.

At 1518 GMT, the rand traded at 14.2175 per dollar, 0.39% firmer than its close on Friday. The rand had earlier in the day weakened nearly 1% to 14.4100 as risk appetite waned.

“The number of different risk events for global markets this week means that volatility in the rand is something that investors should not rule out of the equation,” said Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy and market research at FXTM.

“This week is widely expected to be another wild one for emerging markets with the Federal Reserve meeting and upcoming US mid-term elections something that investors will monitor very closely.”

Investors head into Tuesday’s US congressional election with the Democratic Party facing a strong chance of winning control of the US House of Representatives, with Republicans likely to keep the Senate.

The yield on South Africa’s benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 3.5 basis points to 9.15%.

In equities, the all-share index rose 1.19% to 54,915 points while the blue-chip top 40 was 1.24% firmer at 48,537 points. The banking index rose 1.54%.

“It seems the bullish sentiment is coming back into the market and the recovery we saw on Thursday and Friday last week is carrying on,” said Greg Davies, equities trader at Cratos Capital.

Gold shares were 2.55% higher, led by AngloGold Ashanti Ltd which soared nearly 7% in the session after the company reported an 11% fall in costs and reduced debt.

The miner closed 3.99% firmer at R146.67.