South Africa’s rand firms,boosts investor sentiment

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The rand firmed on Friday as data showed South Africa’s current account deficit narrowed, boosting investor sentiment towards the currency amid a broader recovery in emerging markets.

At 1530 GMT the rand was 1.3 percent firmer at 15.1350 per dollar, off a session high of 15.0575.

It’s a bit of a better day for emerging markets as we see respite for the Turkish lira on a softer dollar,” said ETM analyst Halen Bothma. “However, it’s a cautious environment and investors are not putting in big bets.”

The current account gap narrowed to 3.3 percent of GDP in the second quarter, sparking significant rand demand despite Moody’s warning that the country’s slide into recession in the second quarter was credit-negative.

Bonds were also stronger, with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 down 5 basis points at 9.14 percent.

On the bourse, the blue chip JSE Top 40 index fell 0.12 percent to 50,833 points as resources stocks took a hit from the stronger rand. The broader All-share index fell 0.11 percent to 57,069.

The bullion index closed 1.31 percent weaker.

Gold producer AngloGold was among the biggest decliners, falling 3.98 percent to 291.40 rand.

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