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Rand rallies for third day as global risk-on adds to GDP boost

Local bonds slightly weaker.

The rand firmed for a third consecutive session to a new one-month high early on Thursday, with the boost from a better-than-expected growth figures earlier in the week sustained by a return of global risk demand.

By 0615 GMT the rand was 0.44% firmer at 14.74, after an overnight close of 14.80, bringing gains in the last four months to nearly 4% as bulls piled in with the 14.65 milestone next target.

Gross domestic product in the three months to June expanded by 3.1%, after a 3.1% contraction in the first quarter. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted an expansion of 2.4% for the quarter.

Read: GDP growth is great but doesn’t signal a recovery

Cooling political tensions in Hong Kong and Italy and the announcement of US-China trade talks for next month sparked inflows into risky assets.

On Wednesday Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she was withdrawing an extradition bill that had triggered months of often violent protests in the Asian financial hub.

Local bonds inched weaker in early trade but remained near 7-week lows, with the yield on the benchmark government issue due in 2026 up 0.5 basis points to 8.1%.

In equities, Impala Platinum reported a swing into an annual profit boosted by higher sales, gains in rhodium and palladium prices, and improved performance at its Rustenburg operations. 

Read: Impala Platinum delays job cuts due to improved earnings – sources

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