The City is encouraging property owners who are indigent, pensioners and social grant beneficiaries to apply for the social package of rates rebates. File Photo: IOL
The rand firmed against the dollar yesterday, helped by a weaker greenback as optimism about easing trade tensions between the US and China faded, while stocks fell due to profit-taking.

At 5.35pm, the rand was 0.35 percent firmer at R14.09 to the dollar, as the US currency slipped from two-week highs.

A trade truce between the US and China on the sidelines of the G20 summit over the weekend had calmed fears and boosted the dollar, but negotiations are ongoing.

The tone changed after US President Donald Trump said any deal would need to be somewhat tilted in favour of the his country, arguing that China had long had a trade advantage.

The rand had gained strongly in the previous month along with other emerging assets as the greenback slumped over the likelihood of lower US lending rates.

“While the rand is likely to continue to gain from perceptions, and particularly the occurrence, of global monetary policy easing, the third quarter tends be a quarter in which financial markets often experience risk-off,” said Annabel Bishop, chief economist at Investec.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 10-year government issue added 2.5 basis points to 8.15 percent.

On the bourse, stocks weakened with the JSE Top40 index down 0.71percent to 52093.35 points while the broader all share index dropped 0.65 percent to 58092.48 points.