Rand strengthens as dollar dips; stocks rise

South Africa’s rand strengthened on Friday after the dollar fell ahead of a US inflation report that could determine the size of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike at this month’s policy meeting.

At 1550 GMT, the rand traded at 17.2700 against the dollar, 1.47% stronger than its previous close.

The dollar index , which measures the currency against six rivals, was down around 0.5% at 108.950.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the Top-40 (.JTOPI) index rose 2.46%, while the broader all-share (.JALSH) index was up 2.15%, driven mostly by mining (.JRESI) and banking (.JBANK) shares.

Stronger commodities prices gave a boost to assets in the resource-rich country, Gerhard Parkin, portfolio manager for BP Bernstein, told Reuters.

“That’s just a relief rally in the shares that were oversold,” Parkin said.

He also cited Chinese inflation data that came below consensus and left room for further central bank policy easing.

Among gainers, miners Anglo American Platinum (AMSJ.J), Anglo American PLC, Kumba Iron Ore (KIOJ.J) and BHP Group Ltd were up around 5-6%. Overall, the mining index (.JMINI) closed 2.68% higher.

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond rose, with the yield down 7.5 basis points to 10.305%.

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Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)