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#RandReport: Rand weakens on subdued risk sentiment, stocks fall

At 1510 GMT, the rand traded at 14.3775 per dollar, 0.4% weaker than its close on Friday.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened on Monday as a dollar rally dimmed investor appetite for riskier assets, while stocks fell, led by among others Vodacom and market heavyweight Naspers.

At 1510 GMT, the rand traded at 14.3775 per dollar, 0.4% weaker than its close on Friday.

The dollar index was up 0.47%.

The dollar rallied to a 16-month high as investors positioned for a Federal Reserve interest rate rise next month and concern about political risks in Europe put pressure on the euro and the pound.

“Strong dollar rally since last week when the Fed came out and said they would likely raise rates in December. Most emerging market currencies were sold-off today and the main drivers are global political and economic factors,” said Treasury One currency dealer Gary van der Westhuizen.

Government bonds also weakened, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 rising 2.5 basis points to 9.225%.

On the bourse, the All Share index fell 1.94% to 52,259 points while the Top-40 index fell 2.07% to 45,928 points.

“It was beginning to look like the worst of the sell-off was over after the U.S. midterms but today indicates we might not be out of the woodworks yet,” said Greg Davies, an equities trader at Cratos Capital, referring to elections in America last Tuesday.

Shares in Vodacom dropped 7.69% to R120.30 after it reported a 13.5% fall in half-year profit on Monday.

Market heavyweight Naspers fell 3.45% to R2,650, in line with Tencent Holdings, in which it has a 31% stake, closing 3.08% lower ahead of its third-quarter earnings release on Wednesday.

British American Tobacco plunged 11.30% to R560.99 after the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Food and Drug Administration plans to pursue a ban on menthol cigarettes, sending tobacco stocks lower.

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