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Rand dips as investors tread cautiously, stocks up

At 1523 GMT the rand was 0.16% weaker at 15.360, barely moved from its overnight close after some demand from exporters saw it stretch to a session best 15.2350.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand slowed slightly on Wednesday as traders continued to tread cautiously with an eye on global developments, while stocks strengthened.

At 1523 GMT the rand was 0.16% weaker at 15.360, barely moved from its overnight close after some demand from exporters saw it stretch to a session best 15.2350.

“USD/ZAR is trapped at 15.30, with a strong bias for further weakness given both the fickleness of market sentiment toward trade talks and the lack of positive data to neutralise the negative tone on...global growth,” said Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana, head of RMB Global Market Research.

The currency has struggled for momentum in either direction this week with a lull in local political developments offsetting the swings in the trade spat between Washington and Beijing.

With technical resistance below 15.20 remaining elusive and support at 15.50 equally far-off, the rand is set to be driven by month-end flows before fundamentals kick in next week with a batch of key data releases including second-quarter growth figures.

In fixed income, bonds were also marginally firmer, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year government issue sliding 0.25 basis points to 8.195%.

On the bourse, stocks strengthened with the broader All-share index up 0.67% to 54,256 points, while the Top-40 rose 0.58% to 48,429 points.

South African pharmaceutical firm Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd rose 4.86% to R58.20 after reporting a 10.6% rise in full-year earnings and the disposal of its investment in Ghana. Further gains were seen in the platinum sector, up 4.67%, boosted by an increase in the platinum spot price.

Anglo American Platinum gained 5.76% to R894.27 and Impala Platinum rose 4.07% to R83.37.