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Rand hovers near 4-week low, stocks down

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 10-year issue was up 2 basis points to 8.59%.

The rand turned flat in late afternoon trade on Thursday, but hovered near a four-week low hit earlier in the session on the back of a firmer dollar, while stocks fell.

At 1528 GMT, the rand stood at R14.44 per dollar compared to Wednesday’s close of R14.44.

It had slipped to R14.55 earlier in the session, its weakest price since March 29, as upbeat US data fed demand for the greenback.

South African-focused investors were keeping an eye on election news ahead of parliamentary and provincial polls on May 8.

“Opinion polls show that the governing African National Congress had a comfortable majority until early March. However, they also signal that there are many indecisive voters,” Commerzbank analyst Elisabeth Andreae said in a note.

“We therefore see a number of stumbling blocks in the race towards a clear mandate and as a result risks for the rand.”

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 10-year issue was up 2 basis points to 8.59%.

On the bourse, the broader All-Share index fell 0.5% to 58,807 points, and the blue chip Top 40 index also slipped 0.6% to 52,470.

Among the decliners were financials. Capitec shed 1.72% to R135.92  while Absa declined 1.28% to R158.19. 

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