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Rand set for 3% weekly gain after Moody's review delay

The main boost for South African assets this week came from Moody’s keeping the country’s sovereign rating in investment grade, after it let a scheduled rating review date last week pass without any rating action.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed on Friday and was on course for gains of around 3% this week against the dollar, as appetite for local assets was lifted by Moody’s delaying a credit rating review and optimism over US-China trade talks.

At 0705 GMT, the rand had gained 0.2% to R14.0900 against the dollar compared to its previous close.

Signs of progress in the trade talks between the world’s two largest economies has bolstered demand for emerging market currencies, including the rand, as it bodes well for global economic growth.

But the main boost for South African assets this week came from Moody’s keeping the country’s sovereign rating in investment grade, after it let a scheduled rating review date last week pass without any rating action.

Moody’s rating is particularly sensitive for South Africa because it is the only one of the big three rating agencies that still rates the country’s debt in the coveted investment grade bracket.

South African stocks opened stronger, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index up 0.5% at 51,684 points.

In fixed income, the benchmark 2026 government bond gained, with the yield falling by 1.5 basis points to 8.520%.

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