South Africa’s rand made modest gains against the dollar on Tuesday in thin trade, pulling away from two-week lows as a recent bout of global risk aversion eased.
Stocks declined for a second straight day as Anglo American and financials weighed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
By 23h55 the rand had firmed 0.12% to 15.2883 per dollar, inching away from the previous session’s low of 15.4200, helped by a return of risk appetite as global oil prices steadied near 11-year lows.
Government bonds also rose, with yields on the benchmark debt due in 2026 shedding 3.5 basis points to 9.56%.
Attention returns to local data with the national revenue agency due to publish trade balance figures on Wednesday.
South Africa is expected to post a smaller trade deficit of R3.7 billion ($242 million) in November after recording one of R21.4 billion in October – a number that surprised local markets and pushed the rand to record lows at the time.
Trading in stocks was muted, with 106 million shares changing hands, according to preliminary stock exchange data, well below last year’s daily average of 183 million shares.
Anglo American was the biggest loser among the blue chips, shedding 3.3% to close on R66.44.
Standard Bank fell 3% to 116.63% and Barclays Africa Group was down 2.2% at R144.12.
The benchmark Top-40 index declined 0.53% to 45,996.54 points, while the broader All-Share index was down 0.44% at 50,964.44 points.