Rand gains slightly against the dollar
At 5pm, the rand bid at R14.0349 to the dollar, 4 cents stronger than at the same time on Wednesday. It hit a session high of R13.9575, its strongest level since April 17.
Fuelling interest in riskier assets was a slew of soft US data on Wednesday that added to bets the Federal Reserve would cut rates as early as July. Expectations that nominated European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde will keep to a dovish policy path also helped send the dollar down.
US non-farm payrolls data due on Friday is set to give another indication of whether the Federal Reserve could cut rates, and in lieu of any major local data releases provides the main focus for investors.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 was down 3.5 basis points at 8.075 percent.
Stocks were down after the US national holiday reduced volumes in local equities, and the stronger currency curbed appetite for local commodities.
The benchmark JSE Top40 index was down 0.41 percent to 51746.94 points, while the broader all share index dropped 0.31 percent to 57829.47 points.
Platinum miners dropped 1.54 percent as a group.Reuters