JOHANNESBURG - The Rand weakened yesterday, giving up gains from last week, with traders cautious ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s annual central banking symposium and local inflation data later this week.
However, at 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.1672 to the dollar, 4.85c stronger than at the same time on Friday.
Last week, the rand benefited as investors globally hunted for higher yields through carry trades, in which they sell a currency with a relatively low interest rate and buy one offering a higher rate.
But yesterday the dollar bounced back, with markets cheering US President Donald Trump’s firing of Steve Banon as senior White House adviser, betting the move would ease tensions within the Republican party.
Traders also held off on big bets ahead of the release of July consumer price data tomorrow, which could give clues on the next interest rate move by the SA Reserve Bank following June’s surprise cut.
In fixed income, bonds were slightly firmer, with the yield on benchmark paper due in 2026 falling.
Meanwhile, on the bourse, stocks ended slightly stronger, with miners among the top gainers as commodity prices cruised higher.
The JSE Top40 index rose 0.2percent to 49029 points and the broader all share index gained 0.26percent to 55450.53 points.
BHP Billiton and Anglo American were in demand, rising 1.08percent to R231.46 and 1.16percent to R219.92 respectively, thanks to firmer industrial metal prices.
Gold Fields gained 1.75percent to R58.25, but AngloGold Ashanti retreated 2.59percent to end the session at R131.18.