File image: IOL.
File image: IOL.

Rand extends losses, gold miners lift JSE

By Kabelo Khumalo Time of article published May 3, 2018

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JOHANNESBURG - The rand yesterday extended its losses against the dollar ahead of the US Federal Open Market Committee meeting which started yesterday and was expected to deliver a rate hike.

The rand weakened to R12.70 against the greenback at 5 pm, compared to R12.64 on Tuesday.

The local currency was bid at R12.27 against the pound, compared to R17.18 in the previous session, while it weakened to R15.19 against the euro, compared to R15.16.

Senior currency dealer at TreasuryONE, Andre Botha, said the rand could be in for a volatile ride in the long term.

“The recent US dollar strength is due to the market front-running more hawkish Fed due to inflation looking to surprise to the top side,” Botha said.

“We have seen US Treasury yields spiking to 9-year highs in anticipation of the more hawkish stance that the Fed is expected to take.”

The all-share index closed up 0.37% at 58466 points, while the benchmark Top40 index was up 0.29% at 51570 points.

Gold mining stocks did most of the heavy lifting, adding 4.58%, while resources stocks gained 1.03% and the financials index was up 0.43%.

Embattled global retailer Steinhoff share price closed 9.38% at R2.10, while Net1 Ueps stock added 9.57% to R103 and Orion Minerals strengthened 15.79% to R0.44.

Construction firm Group Five share price tanked 17.39% to R2.85, while Mondi Limited plunged 9.5% to R329.40 and Brimstone Investment shed 13.39% to R11.25.

Private education group Curro Holding’s stock lost 5.04% to R32 after the founder and chairman of its major shareholder PSG Group announced he was suffering from dementia.

Sanisha Packirisamy, Momentum Investments economist, said South African stocks outperformed global equities in April.

“The FTSE/JSE All Share Index (rose) by 5.4% in April buttressed by a surge in resource shares,” Packirisamy said.

“The FTSE/JSE resources index soared nearly 9% in the month, with the first half of the month’s gains abetted by a rally in gold prices and a further uptick in platinum group metals prices.”


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