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South African rand firmer, stocks dragged down by profit-taking
(Adds latest prices, analyst comment)
JOHANNESBURG, April 4 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed
on Thursday, eking out gains late in the session as hopes of a
trade deal between the United States and China bolstered risk
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday
that trade talks between Washington and Beijing last week in the
Chinese capital had made "good headway".
At 1700 GMT the rand was 0.2 percent firmer at
14.1150 per dollar from an overnight close of 14.1450 in New
The rand posted the gains deep into offshore trade, having
languished near short term technical support around 14.20 for
most of the local session in low volume trade.
The currency was volatile in the previous session after
power firm Eskom said the utility needed an additional 250
billion rand ($17.73 billion) to ease its financial and
However, demand from overseas investors has helped the rand
cling on to gains that lifted it to a 2-month high on Monday
after Moody's delayed a credit review on the country.
In equity markets, stocks weakened on profit-taking after
gains in the previous session, with bullion shares weighing on
The Johannesburg All-Share index fell 0.37 percent
to 57,711 points while the Johannesburg Top-40 index
dipped 0.37 percent to 51,449 points.
"We’ve outperformed global markets, now we’re pulling back
due to profit taking,” said Vasili Girasis, a trader from BP
Among the decliners, bullion shares fell 0.89
percent, weighed down by a weaker spot gold price.
AngloGold Ashanti fell 1.48 percent to 183,96 rand
and Gold Fields dropped 1.49 percent to 52.80 rand.
"Gold has been volatile today. The gold price was weaker,
with the rand being strong," said Girasis.
Bonds also edged lower, with the yield on the benchmark
government paper due in 2026 up 0.5 basis points to
($1 = 14.1015 rand)
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Onke Ngcuka; Editing by
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