PICKNPAY:  5,523   +8 (+0.15%)  26/08/2019 00:00

South African rand weakens slightly, resources lift stocks

* Rand investors cautious ahead of mid-week data

* Resource stocks lift the bourse (Adds latest figures)

JOHANNESBURG, April 8 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand weakened slightly on Monday, struggling to regain the momentum that lifted it to a five-week best as traders opted for caution with key local economic indicators due later in the week and offshore risks still uncertain.

At 1515 GMT the rand was 0.18 percent weaker at 14.1150 per dollar compared to a close at 14.0900 on Friday.

South Africa publishes its monthly business confidence index on Wednesday followed by manufacturing and mining production figures on Thursday, data that investors will scrutinise for the economic effects of recent national electricity blackouts.

On Friday the currency rallied as far as 14.0200, its best since Feb. 28, shortly after employment data from the United States showed that nonfarm payrolls rose by 196,000 jobs last month while wage growth had slowed.

But a risk-off mood as Monday's session commenced kept the rand above the 14.00 mark, a key technical and psychological level targeted by rand bulls looking to lock in the price before volatility intensifies ahead of May 8 national elections.

Bonds were slightly weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 up 0.5 basis points to 8.515 percent.

In the equities market, commodity stocks topped the gainers as gold prices hit an over a week peak on Monday, on the back of a weaker dollar. A stronger platinum price also lifted platinum shares.

The Johannesburg All-Share index gained 0.36 percent to 57,986 points, while the Top-40 index rose by 0.37 percent to 51,706 points.

The top climbers were Royal Bafokeng Platinum, which gained by 9.36 percent to 35.98 rand, Harmony Gold which climbed 7.5 percent to 28.37 rand and Anglo American Platinum which rose 5.02 percent to 835 rand.

Also moving the market was South Africa's second-biggest grocery store chain Pick n Pay, which closed 4 percent firmer at 69.90 rand after saying it expects its full-year diluted headline earnings per share to rise up to 30 percent. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Onke Ngcuka Editing by Frances Kerry)

2019-04-08 17:59:49

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