SASOL: 22,615 +315 (+1.41%)
South Africa's rand firms as investors await next bout of weakness
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 16 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand was
firmer early on Friday, adding to the previous session's gains
in a recovery driven mainly by investors covering their short
positions in anticipation of sharper falls as local and global
growth fears loom.
At 0650 GMT the rand was 0.57% firmer at 15.1925
per dollar compared with a close of 15.2800 overnight in New
York, bringing gains to more than 1.5% since Wednesday when the
currency tumbled to just short of 11-month lows.
The rand has fallen more than 9% since the beginning of
August, pressured by the rising likelihood of a credit ratings
downgrade by linked to massive, additional bailout to state
power firm Eskom and, this week, by signs of a slower global
With fundamentals and sentiment pointing to further rand
weakness, many traders see a short term rally, with buyers
coming in at current prices before the next tranche of losses.
Bonds also firmed, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year
government paper due in 2026 down 4 basis points to 8.395%.
In stocks, petrochemical giant Sasol said it would
delay the release of its 2019 financial results due to possible
"control weaknesses" at its U.S. ethane cracker
Shares in Sasol fell 15% at market open at 0700 GMT.
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana;
Editing by Alison Williams)
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