JOHANNESBURG – The rand gained ground on Tuesday, spurred by a globally hobbled dollar and a decision by South Africa’s top court to consider whether a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma should be taken by secret ballot.
Pressure has mounted on Zuma to resign after a controversial cabinet reshuffle triggered ratings downgrades, and the rand extended its gains to 1% against the dollar after the announcement. Opposition parties said the motion would be more likely to succeed if held by secret ballot.
In late trade, the rand was 0.96%t higher at 13.8132 per dollar.
“Any political headline is going to be driving short-term moves in the currency,” said BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities economist Jeffrey Schultz.
Stocks gained, led by shares of gold and platinum producers, as spot bullion jumped more than 1%. Investors were seeking assets considered havens from risk amid mounting political and security concerns over North Korea, the Middle East and an imminent French election.
Harmony Gold leapt 7.10% to R37.87, making it the biggest gainer on the bourse. Anglo American Platinum advanced 5.52% to R371.85 and Goldfields rose 3.23% to R52.35.
The benchmark Top-40 index rose 0.72% to 46,757.54 points. The All-Share index added 0.74% to 53,535.16 points.
Bonds firmed, with the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 falling 4 basis points to 8.955%.