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The Rand and bonds raced to their firmest levels in a week yesterday as investors cashed in on the dollar’s recent rally and saw an improved outlook for the economy despite the recession and political uncertainty.

At 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.2703 to the dollar, 29.89c stronger than at the same time on Tuesday, its firmest level since July5.

The Rand led a recovery by emerging market currencies sparked by a slide in the dollar, after more Russia-linked controversy for Donald Trump and Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen’s cautious tone in her testimony before the US Congress.

Chief economist at Old Mutual, Rian le Roux, said global conditions remained supportive of the rand despite signals by US and European central banks they would soon reduce their massive bond-buying programmes and lift interest rates.

The benchmark government bond due in 2026 extended gains.

Meanwhile, stocks also rose, boosted by the firmer currency, higher commodity prices and renewed demand for local blue chips on the back of a sell-off in previous weeks.

Banking and mining shares led the bourse higher, with the benchmark JSE Top40 index up 1.04percent at 46674.35 points, while the wider all share index was 1.01percent higher at 52905.98 points.

Standard Bank rose 2.99percent to R148.88, Rand Merchant climbed 1.93percent to R39.65, Barclays Africa Group was up 2.97percent at R144.05 and Capitec advanced 2.81percent to R804.34.

Harmony Gold rose 3.47percent to R22.64 and Anglo American Platinum advanced 2.5percent to R310.19.