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The Rand reversed earlier gains and slipped against the dollar yesterday as the US currency hit a two-month high against the yen, boosted by robust economic data.

At 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.4389 to the dollar, less than a cent softer than at the same time on Friday. The dollar has been extending broad gains made after much stronger than expected June employment data was published on Friday.

“US jobs data were a mixed bag, but did not halt the greenback’s advance against a basket of currencies,” NKC African Economics said in a note.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 dipped.

Meanwhile, stocks followed global shares higher, lifted by the US jobs data yesterday, which showed German exports rose more than expected in May.

The benchmark JSE Top40 index rose 0.67percent to 45976.56 points, while the wider all share index ended 0.55percent higher at 52187.92 points.

Among movers, MTN Group added 0.48percent to R116.30 after its main competitor in Nigeria, Etisalat, said it would pull out of the South African company’s most lucrative market.

Gold Fields advanced 3.43percent to close at R47.16.

European stocks closed higher, underpinned by financials and basic resources, as mergers and acquisitions rumbled on with some broker notes also prompting individual stock moves.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.4percent at its close, rising in concert with euro zone stocks and blue chips. Strong gains in banks boosted the benchmarks, while basic resources reversed course to trade higher.

BUSINESS REPORT