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
Nigerians in South Africa 4172 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

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