SOUTH AFRICAN RAND SLIPS, STOCKS DRAGGED LOWER BY BIDVEST

SOUTH AFRICAN RAND SLIPS, STOCKS DRAGGED LOWER BY BIDVEST

JOHANNESBURG – The rand weakened on Tuesday with emerging assets struggling for clear direction as risk demand eased ahead of a speech before Congress by US President Donald Trump.

On the stock market, the benchmark Top-40 index slipped 0.8% to 44,131 points while the broader All-Share index declined 0.7% to 51,146.

At 1540 GMT the rand had slipped 0.27% to R13.0450 per dollar, as investor jitters over Trump’s fiscal plan again dominated sentiment and sapped the rand’s recent momentum, pushing the unit to a third session of losses.

“In addition to Trump’s speech, Fed policymakers Williams and Bullard are scheduled to speak; but like all of us, they and the dollar are at the mercy of Trumponomics,” Rand Merchant Bank analyst Isaah Mhlanga said in a note.

Locally, trade data for January showed the balance swinging to a deficit of more than R10.8 billion, slightly wider than forecast, although market reaction to the figure was muted.

Bidvest was the biggest loser among the blue-chips, extending losses to a five-month low after reporting a 4.4% rise in half-year profit on Monday and saying it has $1 billion available for acquisitions.

Bidvest shares fell 5.1% to R155.02.

Gold mining firms were also weaker after the bullion price retreated from the 3-1/2 month highs it hit in the previous session.

Shares in Anglogold Ashanti were down 3% at R145.61, while Gold Fields shed 2.2% to R40.25.

Bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 adding 6 basis points to 8.8%.

Source: Reuters

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Nigerians in South Africa
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