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Rand, stocks slip as investors await big Trump speech

At 1530 GMT the rand was 0.22% weaker at 14.9250 per dollar, having closed at 14.8850 overnight and kicking off the session on the front foot before fading fast.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand weakened in late trade on Tuesday in a subdued session as investors avoided big bets ahead of local retail and mining data later in the week, and a definitive sign from the trade talks between China and the United States.

At 1530 GMT the rand was 0.22% weaker at 14.9250 per dollar, having closed at 14.8850 overnight and kicking off the session on the front foot before fading fast.

The currency’s late-session dip, driven mostly by a rebounding greenback, left the local unit closer to the 15.00/$ psychological mark which has recently opened the door to bigger losses.

U.S. President Donald Trump was due to give a speech in New York where he may delay a tariff decision on European automakers by six months, according to European Union officials, lifting the dollar on trader optimism.

Locally, no first-tier data was released, but a $304 million weekly bond auction by the government showed a slight increase in demand. Statistics South Africa publishes retail figures on Wednesday and mining production data on Thursday.

Government bonds were weaker, with the yield on the 2026 bond up 1.5 basis points at 8.485%.

On the bourse, stocks rose with world shares as equity investors also awaited Trump’s speech.

The benchmark JSE Top-40 Index was up 0.57% to 50,261.69 points while the broader All-Share Index inched 0.49% to 56,450.75 points.

“I think what investors will be looking for is comments particularly with regards to the rollback of tariffs with China and if he does we’re betting, for now, there will be more information than what we’ve heard so far,” said Musa Makoni, trader at GT247.

Platinum miners were the day’s biggest winners on the blue-chip index after South Africa’s biggest mining union sealed wage agreements, concluding negotiations that have been ongoing since June. Anglo American Platinum was up 4.71% while Impala Platinum rose 4.52%%.

Telecommunications company Telkom also rose 6.68% to R65.94 after announcing on Tuesday that it was in discussions over a potential acquisition even as a spike in debt costs pushed half-year profits down more than a third.

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