JOHANNESBURG – The rand extended its gains against a weak dollar on Friday, lifted by technical factors and comments by senior US central bank officials about “gradual” tightening, which also helped ignite stocks.
At 1530 GMT, the rand was fetching 13.03/dollar, a hefty gain on the day of almost 1.4% to scale its highest level in over two weeks.
Technically, the rand has been getting support from momentum indicators which showed it was straying into oversold territory earlier this week, while bets on a modest U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike path have helped to retain its yield appeal. In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 5.5 basis points to 8.695%.
Stocks closed higher, with the mining index gaining 0.82% after South Africa suspended implementation of a new mining law, which includes raising the level of black ownership in mining firms, pending a court ruling.
Mining shares fell to more than one-year lows when Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane released the revised mining charter in June, giving resource firms 12 months to meet a new 30% minimum for black ownership, up from 26%.
The benchmark Top-40 index closed 0.54% higher at 47 309.26 points while the broader All-share index added 0.56% to 53 597.96 points.