FILE PHOTO: South African Rand coins are seen in this photo illustration
The Rand and mining stocks strengthened yesterday as the dollar plunged on US stimulus uncertainty, although AngloGold Ashanti weakened more than 4percent after saying it might retrench 8500 workers. The benchmark JSE Top40 index was up 0.48percent at 45504.55 points and the broader all share index gained 0.32percent to reach 51596.84 points.

Lonmin and Royal Bafokeng Platinum climbed 3.81percent to R10.90 and 2.59percent to R32.90 respectively, as platinum firmed 0.49percent at $922.70 (about R11905) an ounce.

“We’ve seen the dollar for the greater part of the day coming off against most major currencies and that has given some of these resource stocks some relief,” Paul Chakaduka, a trader at Global Trader said. AngloGold Ashanti dropped 4.29percent to R132.23 after it said it might lay off 30percent of its workforce as part of restructuring programme.

By 5.15pm, the rand had gained 0.36percent to R12.9725 to the dollar, dipping below the psychological R13 level as investors sold the greenback and bought emerging currencies. Gold, seen as a safer alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty, was up 0.3percent to $1248 an ounce at 5pm, helping lift the rand as South Africa is one of the world’s top exporters of the commodity.

The rand has see-sawed this week amid policy uncertainty ahead of the ANC’s policy conference at the weekend, erasing most of the gains driven by an intense worldwide hunt for high-yield assets. Bonds were weaker, with yields at a one-month highs.