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Rand flat, stocks slip as risk bulls pause for Fed meeting

At 1550 GMT, the rand was 0.02% firmer at R16.6770, barely moved from its overnight close having touched a fresh two-month best of R16.6250 before pausing as traders waited for the United States Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The rand ended the local session largely unchanged on Tuesday, pausing its rally as traders took profits after a strong advance by emerging currencies spurred by global economic recovery hopes.

At 1550 GMT, the rand was 0.02% firmer at R16.6770, barely moved from its overnight close having touched a fresh two-month best of R16.6250 before pausing as traders waited for the United States Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

Investors are looking ahead to Wednesday’s Fed announcement following the two-day meeting. Speculation is growing that the US central bank might adopt yield targets on bonds, or some other measures to anchor long-term yields.

Bonds weakened, with the yield on the 10-year government bond up 10.5 basis points to 9.115%.

Stocks fell again on Tuesday, tracking global equities as traders bullish on risk ran out of steam after days of rallying, with investors opting to bank profits or head for safe-haven assets on the day.

The benchmark FTSE/JSE all share index shed 0.37% to close at 54,483 points. The Top-40 index slipped 0.4% to end the trading at 49,915 points.

The slide in the market came despite gold mining companies in the country posting hefty gains on the back of a steep rise in spot bullion, up 1.3% to $1,715 per ounce at 1600 GMT.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE) gold index, representing five major gold companies, was up 3.74%.