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Rand slips as trade war fears hit commodity exporters

Stocks set to open higher, with the Top-40 index up 0.3%.

South Africa’s rand was weaker on Thursday as the spectre of a global trade war sparked by US President Donald Trump’s planned steel tariffs weighed on emerging market currencies, particularly commodity exporters.

At 0640 GMT the rand had weakened 0.27% to 11.86 per dollar, marking a second straight session of losses as fears of a selloff slowed demand for one of the best performing currencies globally.

The departure of a high-ranking economic aide to Trump on Tuesday renewed fears of a global trade war and taken the sheen off unexpectedly positive local economic growth figures.

The rand however remains bull target with the fast recovering economy, on the back of Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment as state president, fuelling bets the currency will stretch gains if it breaks through technical resistance at 11.70.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was flat at 8.12%.

Stocks were set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.3%. 

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