London - The rand rose for a fourth day to the highest in more than three weeks after Chinese trade data beat forecasts, boosting growth prospects for the biggest buyer of South African raw materials.
Exports from the world’s second-largest economy climbed 7.2 percent last month, compared with the 5.5 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey, the General Administration of Customs said in Beijing yesterday.
China accounts for about 13 percent of South African exports, according to government data.
“We’ve started the week with positive data” amid “a nice pickup in exports,” John Cairns, a currency strategist at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, wrote in an e-mailed note to clients today.
The rand appreciated 0.4 percent to 9.9729 per dollar by 10:27 a.m. in Johannesburg, the highest since August 16.
Yields on 10.5 percent bonds due December 2026 fell eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 8.32 percent.
The currency of Africa’s biggest economy was aided last week by a smaller-than-expected increase in US payrolls in August, easing concern about whether the labour market is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to begin scaling back stimulus programs aimed at boosting growth.
The rand also rallied after some South African gold miners returned to work last week, accepting a wage offer.
“The weak payrolls number and the ending of most of the local mining strikes has brought some much needed relief to the rand,” Cairns said.
Foreign investors bought a net 100 million rand ($10 million) of South African bonds and sold 599 million rand of equities on Sept. 6, according to JSE Ltd. data. - Bloomberg News