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Rand creeps up as risk sentiment holds, stocks slip

The rand inched firmer on Monday as hopes of a rapid global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continued to feed risk appetite.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The rand inched firmer on Monday as hopes of a rapid global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continued to feed risk appetite.

At 1550 GMT, the rand was up 0.11% at R16.8000 per dollar, having earlier touched a session-best of R16.7100 in an advance across emerging markets stemming mainly from Friday’s better than expected jobs data from the United States.

“The domestic currency continues to strengthen as it reflects improving global financial market sentiment, said Annabel Bishop, chief economist at Investec.

“The latest economic data to support improving risk-on investor attitude is the unexpected drop that occurred in the US unemployment rate.”

Government bonds turned weaker following lat week’s rally, with the yield on the 10-year instrument up 7 basis points to 9.01%.

The Johannesburg stock market slipped as banks and industrial companies fell despite a rise in crude and gold prices.

The FTSE/JSE Top-40 index was down 0.16% to end the day at 50,118 points while the all share index fell 0.07% to close at 54,684 points.

Shares in South African petrochemicals giant Sasol increased by almost 15% as crude oil prices went up as the OPEC+ nations agreed output cuts through July.

However, crude dipped later on Monday as Saudi Arabia clarified that there will be no additional voluntary cuts by the Gulf nations in July.

The mining index was up 1.3% and the gold index index rose 3.2% on Monday.