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Rand on track to clock weekly gains

The dollar was weighed down by concerns over the strength of a US economic recovery following weaker-than-expected jobs data.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The rand was on track to clocking weekly gains on Friday as the dollar was on the defensive on worries about the health of the US economy.

At 1500 GMT, the rand was trading at R17.1375 to the dollar, 0.7% stronger than its previous close and on course for gains of more than 1% this week.

“The rand which remains a proxy for emerging market extended its recent gains as the dollar weakened on worries about the health of the US economy,” said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM.

“If the dollar remains depressed and unloved, the rand could edge back towards R17.00 in the week ahead.”

The dollar was weighed down by concerns over the strength of a US economic recovery following weaker-than-expected jobs data.

In the absence of major domestic data releases the rand has moved mainly on global factors this week.

Stocks rose on Friday led by South African banks as more clarity emerged on the outlook of their performance with Nedbank joining FirstRand Bank and Absa Group in announcing trading statements for half year, while Africa’s biggest Standard Bank declared its results on Thursday.

But the market overall ended the week down over 2% from last week’s close as rising coronavirus infections globally and the US-China trade tensions continued to weigh heavy on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The benchmark FTSE/JSE all share index ended 0.25% higher to 55768 points while the top 40 companies index closed up 0.21% to 51,489 points. The bank index, which has mostly been a laggard in stock performance since March mid crash, was up 3.86% on end of day’s trading.

Government bonds were a shade weaker, with the yield on the 2030 instrument up 0.5 basis point to 9.28%.

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