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Rand firms on US-China trade deal optimism

Investors have increased their exposure to emerging market assets recently on optimism over a preliminary trade truce between the United States and China, with the rand, in particular, benefiting as the currency’s high yield overshadowed South Africa’s economic fundamentals.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand firmed on Monday as its attractive yield and optimism over a trade deal between China and United States boosted demand ahead of the Christmas holiday.

At 1400 GMT, the rand was 0.45% firmer at R14.2200 per dollar from an opening level of R14.2750.

Investors have increased their exposure to emerging market assets recently on optimism over a preliminary trade truce between the United States and China, with the rand, in particular, benefiting as the currency’s high yield overshadowed South Africa’s economic fundamentals.

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States and China would “very shortly” sign their so-called Phase 1 trade pact.

Government bonds were firmer, with the yield on benchmark 2026 instrument down 0.5 basis points to 8.24%.

On the stock market, share prices weakened as mining companies slipped on profit-taking after a rapid rise in the previous sessions.

The JSE Top-40 Index was down 0.81% at 50,748 points while the broader All-Share Index also slipped 0.81% to 56,952 points.

Platinum producer Impala led the slide, down 4.15% to 134.29 rand while Anglo American Platinum dipped 4% to R1,269.27.

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