File image
The Rand weakened yesterday, following in the footsteps of its emerging markets peers on looming threats about tighter global monetary conditions.

The dollar hit a four-month high against the yen and world’s top bonds and emerging market currencies were back under pressure yesterday, on bets for higher interest rates in a small but growing group of major economies.

At 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.5692 to the dollar, 13.03c softer than at the same time on Monday, 0.65percent weaker than its New York close on Monday, but off a trough of R13.6250 hit earlier in the session. Momentum indicators tracked by chartists showed it was oversold, according to Reuters’ data. This suggests it could get technical support in this area in coming days.

Meanwhile, stocks posted modest gains, led by gold mining shares thanks to the weaker rand, which boosts dollar-denominated profits when brought back home.

The local bullion sector gained 2.09percent with Sibanye Gold adding the most to the index, climbing 3.68percent to R15.76 while AngloGold Ashanti rose 1.71percent to close at R132.96.

Naspers, Africa’s biggest listed company by market size, also featured on the gainers’ list, rising 2.68percent to R2585, tracking its Chinese money spinner Tencent.

“Naspers was up on the back of Tencent closing strong in Hong Kong overnight, so that is making a strong contribution to the index’s overall gain,” said Avior Capital Markets equity sales trader, Jacques Potgieter.

The benchmark JSE Top40 index was up 0.47percent to 46192.63 points, while the wider all share index ended 0.36percent higher at 52376.38 points.

BUSINESS REPORT