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Rand slides, stocks snap three days of gains

Illovo Sugar jumps on buy-out plans.

South Africa’s rand weakened on Monday, extending Friday’s sell-off as investors shed risky assets on persistent concern over the pace of global growth. Stocks ended three sessions of gains, led down by financial shares and e-commerce company Naspers.

Data over the weekend showing China’s foreign reserves fell for a third straight month in January did nothing to calm investors. The decline was less than expected but still the second biggest on record.

At 23:35, the rand had weakened 0.76% to 16.1435 against the dollar from where it closed in New York on Friday.

“Although there is broader risk-off conditions across emerging markets, South Africa is seen a bit more riskier than the others,” said ETM Analytics market analyst Ricardo Da Camara.

Government bonds tracked the rand, with the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 rising 1.5 basis points to 9.355%.

On the stock market, Naspers was the biggest loser among the blue-chips. The company, which is exposed to China’s fortunes through its stake in Tencent Holdings, shed 4.45% to R1,864.34.

Nedbank was down 2.76% at R186, leading a 1.9% decline on the Financial 15 index.

The benchmark blue-chip Top-40 index fell 1.02% to 43,998 points.. The broader All-Share index was down 0.65% at 49,429 points.

Illovo Sugar gained 9.69% to a 10-month high of R20.15 after announcing that its largest shareholder, Associated British Foods, planned to buy out all other shareholders for R20 a share.

Anglo American Platinum rallied 11.22% to R300 after the precious metal’s price rose to a three-month high and after announcing it may cut as many as 1,000 jobs at one of its mines as it battles a global supply glut .

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