Rand strengthens, investors remain jittery
At 5pm on Friday, the rand bid at R14.75 to the dollar, 11 cents stronger than at the same time on Thursday.
Domestic political uncertainty has fed investor jitters in recent days, after the main opposition party called for South Africa’s graft watchdog to release a report into allegations President Cyril Ramaphosa misled parliament over a donation to his 2017 campaign to lead the ANC. A spokeswoman for the presidency declined to comment.
Senior ANC officials meanwhile contradicted each other over whether the party had decided to expand the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) mandate in the wake of data showing the worst economic contraction in a decade.
South Africa’s May consumer price inflation data is due to be released tomorrow. The numbers will assist in setting the tone for the next interest rate decision in July.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell a basis point to 8.38 percent.
Stocks weakened along with global equity markets as Chinese data stoked investor anxieties over a global growth slowdown.
The benchmark JSE Top40 index fell 0.81 percent to 52166.68 points while the broader all share index weakened 0.86 percent, closing at 58193.78 points.
Sasol and Mondi PLC were the biggest losers on the blue chip index.