20°C / 22°C
  • Sat
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 17°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 17°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 13°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 18°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 18°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 19°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 18°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 18°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 17°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 18°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 17°C
  • Sat
  • 32°C
  • 14°C
  • Sun
  • 30°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 32°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 31°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 17°C
  • Thu
  • 30°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 17°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 17°C
  • Tue
  • 19°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 13°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 26°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 28°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 28°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 17°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 16°C

Rand, stocks gain; focus on Moody's review

The rand firmed against the dollar on Friday thanks to a weaker greenback, while stocks also rose on improved risk appetite, as markets awaited a Moody’s rating review later in the day.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed against the dollar on Friday thanks to a weaker greenback, while stocks also rose on improved risk appetite, as markets awaited a Moody’s rating review later in the day.

At 1515 GMT, the rand was 0.74% firmer at R14.9950 per dollar.

The US dollar dropped on Friday after data gave mixed signs on the economy, and as optimism the United States and China would reach a deal to end their trade war reduced safe-haven demand for the greenback.

Locally, focus was on the Moody’s review.

“South Africa faces a potentially material ‘slap on the wrists’ by Moody’s credit rating agency later today,” Bianca Botes, a treasury partner at Peregrine Treasury Solutions said.

“There’s no telling what kind of impact a negative Moody’s credit rating adjustment could still do to the local currency.”

Moody’s is the only ratings agency out of the main three with an investment-grade assigned to South Africa’s sovereign debt.

Worries about losing it were sparked by the resumption of nationwide blackouts in Africa’s most industrialised economy, and exacerbated by a medium-term budget that showed a wider deficit and rising debt.

A full downgrade to non-investment grade would see South Africa evicted from the benchmark World Government Bond Index (WGBI) of local currency debt and trigger a sell-off by investors mandated to buy high-grade debt.

Government bonds weakened, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 instrument adding 8 basis points to 8.575%.

On the bourse, stocks were up after strong economic data from China boosted appetite for emerging market shares despite investor jitters over Moody’s review.

“I think the market is pricing in some kind of a downgrade or at least a negative outlook ... we’ll have to wait and see what happens today,” said Gerhard Parkin, portfolio manager for BP Bernstein.

The Top-40 index was up 0.52%, while the broader all-share was 0.41% higher.

Further gains were limited by gold mining companies, which were hit by lower gold prices as better-than-expected US jobs numbers and strong factory data from China bolstered sentiment for riskier assets.

Sibanye-Stillwater slipped by 2.71%, while AngloGold Ashanti closed down by 1.86%.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus