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JOHANNESBURG - The rand lost further ground on the dollar yesterday as US President Donald Trump’s impending decision on Irna’s nuclear deal spurred safe-haven demand for the greenback

The rand was bid at R12.62 against the greenback at 5pm, compared to R12.57 at the same time on Monday.

The local currency was little changed against the euro, strengthening to R14.97 against R14.98, while it weakened to R17.07 against the pound compared to R17.06.

Nedbank analyst Mehul Daya, said the rand would continue to trade in line with the international environment, which will be dictated by the dollar.

“Should the US dollar continue on its path stronger, we leave the likelihood open that the rand will move closer to R12.80 against the dollar target, which we only expected to materialise in the second half of 2018,” Daya said.

The JSE closed slightly in the red with miners and financials on the back foot.

The all share index shed 215 points to 57665 points, while the blue chip Top40 index lost 146 points to 51002 points.

Gold mining stock bled 0.99percent, while financial shares shed 0.68percent. Industrial stocks were flat, down just 0.08percent, while the resources index was down 0.51percent.

Net1 Ueps Technologies soared 13.97percent to R106.11, while listed property developer Calgro M3 Holdings price surged 20percent to R15 and Brimstone inched up 14.96percent to R12.99.

Franchising firm Gold Brands Investments plunged 38.18percent to R0.34, while Brainworks tanked 83.13percent to R1.35 and embattled construction group Basil Read bled 16.67percent to R0.20.

Dave Mohr, the chief investment strategist at Old Mutual Multi-Managers, said the weaker rand helps the large companies which generate most of their revenues abroad.

“The weaker currency also means local investors saw the benefit of positive global equity markets in rand terms. The local equity market recovered some of the losses of February and March during April,” Mohr said.

“The FTSE/JSE All Share Index (ALSI) returned 5.4percent in April, but the first few days of May have been choppy.”

- REUTERS