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DURBAN - The rand extended gains on Tuesday from the last three sessions as a lull in global trade war fears lifted demand for emerging currencies, while market heavyweight Naspers and resources firms led stocks lower.

By 15.46pm the rand was 0.6 percent firmer at R13.34 to the dollar, slightly softer than Monday’s three-week peak of R13.31.

On Friday the rand closed beneath R13.50 for the first time since June 22, a key inflection point after tumbling to a seven-month low of R14 as emerging markets sold off due to rising US interest rates and jitters over global growth.

Bonds were flat, with the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 steady at 8.670 percent.

On the equities market, the blue-chip JSE Top40 index declined 0.38 percent to 51 795.51 points, while the broader all-share index shed 0.33 percent to 58 027.11 points.

Bourse heavyweight Naspers was responsible for much of the decline, falling 0.4 percent to close at R3 496.

Miner Harmony Gold closed down 2.09 percent at R22.45 after it said an employee was fatally injured in a fall of a ground incident at its Kusasalethu mine in Carletonville.

Bucking the downward trend, Hospitality Property Fund topped the gainers after it said on Monday after market close it had acquired seven casino and hotel businesses from Tsogo Sun. It surged 24.9 percent to R12.49.

Meanwhile, US stocks rose yesterday afternoon, with the S&P 500 at a four-month high, as energy shares got a boost from higher crude prices and strong results from PepsiCo signaled a solid start to the earnings season.

PepsiCo’s shares surged 3.9 percent and were poised for their biggest one-day jump in nearly seven years after the company’s quarterly results topped estimates on strong sales of snacks.

The company also reaffirmed its full-year forecast amid signs of a gradual recovery in its soda business.

PepsiCo drove a 0.82 percent gain in the consumer staples index, with Coca-Cola rising 1 percent.

The energy index rose 0.62 percent as crude prices gained on growing supply disruptions in Norway and Libya, but gains were pared after the United States said it would consider requests for waivers from Iranian oil sanctions.

- BUSINESS REPORT