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Rand, stocks drift weaker in quiet trade

The currency dipped slightly tracking the weaker euro, which fell after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi gave his final news conference and data showed stagnating economic momentum in the euro zone.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand traded marginally weaker on Thursday, in line with global currency markets ahead of some important central bank meetings, and in the absence of new signals from the Sino-US trade war and the Brexit saga.

At 1600 GMT, the rand traded at R14.6550 per dollar, 0.1% weaker.

Without local catalysts, the rand is expected to take direction from global markets.

The currency dipped slightly tracking the weaker euro, which fell after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi gave his final news conference and data showed stagnating economic momentum in the euro zone.

Investors also await the US Federal Reserve’s meeting on 29 and 30 October, where it is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate for a third consecutive time this year.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 0.5 basis points to 8.21%.

In stocks, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s blue-chip index closed 0.24% lower at 49,124 points while the broader all-share index was 0.17% weaker at 55,4789 points.

Gold miners were the biggest winners, with Exxaro Resources, AngloGold Ashanti and Goldfields topping the blue chip index and up 2.9%, 2.37% and 2.2%respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum were banks and telecoms firms: Vodacom, off 2.14%, led the index downwards, followed by Standard Bank, which shed 2.13%, and Absa and FirstRand, both losing near to 1.5%.

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