South Africa’s rand at two-week high vs hobbled dlr, stock rise


16/07/2017 06:25 AST

South Africa's rand extended its gains against a weak dollar on Friday, lifted by technical factors and comments by senior US central bank officials about "gradual" tightening, which also helped ignite stocks.

At 1530 GMT, the rand was fetching 13.03/dlr, a hefty gain on the day of almost 1.4 percent to scale its highest level in over two weeks.

Technically, the rand has been getting support from momentum indicators which showed it was straying into oversold territory earlier this week, while bets on a modest US Federal Reserve rate hike path have helped to retain its yield appeal. In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 5.5 basis points to 8.695 percent.

Stocks closed higher, with the mining index gaining 0.82 percent after South Africa suspended implementation of a new mining law, which includes raising the level of black ownership in mining firms, pending a court ruling.

Mining shares fell to more than one-year lows when Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane released the revised mining charter in June, giving resource firms 12 months to meet a new 30 percent minimum for black ownership, up from 26 percent.

The benchmark Top-40 index closed 0.54 percent higher at 47,309.26 points while the broader All-share index added 0.56 percent to 53,597.96 points.

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