SABC News - South Africas rand, stocks recover:Friday 11 March 2016

South Africa's rand, stocks recover

Friday 11 March 2016 19:00


South Africa's rand recovered against the dollar on Friday.

South Africa's rand recovered against the dollar on Friday.(SABC)

South Africa's rand recovered against the dollar on Friday, tracking gains in emerging market currencies as expectations of a long period of low global borrowing costs lured bulls back to high-yielding assets.

Stocks snapped a three-day losing streak, also buoyed by recovering sentiment after the European Central Bank cut rates and unleashed stimulus measures, a positive for emerging market economies with wide current account deficits.

By 1528 GMT the rand had gained 0.75 % to15.2550 per dollar, after threatening to breakthrough the15.50 mark in overnight trade.

"The market does not like it up here and the assault on 15.00 will likely kick-off in earnest. Exporters are starting to tame their greed and importers are now more settled, "Standard Bank currency trader Maemo Rametse said.

The currency fell on Thursday, weighed down by poor economic data and comments from the European Central Bank that it was unlikely to cut its negative interest rates further in the wake of a huge new stimulus plan.

On the equities market, Johannesburg's benchmark Top-40 index was up 0.47 % to 45 761 points, while the broader All-share index advanced 0.4 % to 51 739.

Gains, however, were capped by Old Mutual, which lead the Blue-Chip decliners' list alongside Nedbank after the Anglo-South African financial services group confirmed that it will split into four main businesses and cut its majority stake in Nedbank.

Johannesburg-listed Old Mutual closed 3.15 % lower at R40 a share, while Nedbank slid 3.86 %  to R174.01 .

"The detail around the actual restructuring was a bit murky and for Nedbank with the announcement of the planned disposal, there will be a medium-term overhang of stock which is likely going to put pressure on the share price," said Avior Capital Markets trader Rabi Thithi.

Trading was slightly below average with more than 255 million shares changing hands, compared to last year's daily average of 296 million shares, according to preliminary bourse data.

Government bonds firmed, and the yield for the benchmark paper due in 2026 was down 6.5 basis points to 9.11 %.

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