Stocks were led lower by banking stocks which came off a previous rally on the back of
In the previous
The rand has breached R12.50 three times since the beginning of the year but has failed to close above that level. It has also stopped shy of the 21-day moving average at R12.60, opening the door to gains towards the R12.25 level as investors buy the currency based on trend analysis.
A higher gold price, South Africa’s chief commodity export, also supported the rand. Gold prices rose yesterday to near their highest in four months after a hawkish tone in the minutes of a European Central Bank meeting pushed the euro sharply higher against the dollar.
The dollar also weakened after data showed a rise in US jobless claims and a decrease in the country’s producer prices.
Locally, manufacturing figures showed the sector expanded 1.7% in November, a touch higher than forecast, easing pressure on the rand as the economy showed further signs of recovery.
Bonds weakened, with the yield on the government issue due in 2026 adding 1.5 basis points to 8.61%.
The banking sector weakened 2.07%, with FirstRand falling 3.11% to R61.04, Nedbank dropping 1.96% to R249.22 and Standard Bank weakening 1.84% to R187.44.
Miners Gold Fields and Sibanye gained 2.17% and 1.05% to R53.59 and R16.37, respectively.