File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The Rand fell for a third consecutive session yesterday, briefly touching its weakest in six months as a combination of a stronger dollar and concerns about the local economy weighed.

At 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.6842 to the dollar, 3.59c softer than at the same time on Monday, slightly better that the R13.77 touched earlier, the currency’s weakest level since April10.

Lower global metal prices, particularly gold, which dipped to a seven-week low, put more pressure to the rand.

The rand has now lost close to 4percent in the past week as the dollar rallied on expectations of interest rate increases by the US Federal Reserve and renewed signs of “Trumflation” - President Donald Trump’s fiscal stimulus plan.

Concerns over the local economy and the impact of the ongoing KPMG saga also weighed on sentiment.

Yesterday, the treasury admitted to legislators it would probably lower its growth projections and that a widening revenue gap may hinder its plan to narrow deficits and steer the country away from deeper credit rating cuts.

Meanwhile, stocks ended higher after gains by Naspers and mining shares as some wage negotiations were resolved and some mineral prices steadied.

Naspers was up 2.88percent to close at R3058.73. The benchmark JSE Top40 index was up 1.07percent at 50139.93 points and the broader all share index gained 1.04percent at 56358.26 points. Assore led the gains by mining companies, up 5.92percent on the day to R306.32. Northam Platinum, Exxaro Resources and Sibanye were all up more than 4percent on the day.

- REUTERS