UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand firms on dollar weakness, stocks up

  • Reuters
  • Forex News
UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand firms on dollar weakness, stocks up
Credit: © Reuters.

* Rand gains on the back of dollar retreat

* Stocks up led by bullion shares (Updates figures, adds background, fresh quotes)

JOHANNESBURG, May 10 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand snapped two days of losses on Wednesday as emerging markets broadly benefited from a retreating dollar after U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly fired the FBI director.

South African stocks climbed as gold miners lifted the bourse.

The rand ZAR=D3 traded at 13.4450 per dollar at 1502 GMT, up 1.36 percent on its overnight close of 13.6300 in New York.

Treasury One currency trader Andre Botha said the rand was "enjoying the fruits of a risk positive scenario".

The rand hit a session-high of 13.4300/dollar as demand for emerging assets returned to global markets after the sacking of FBI chief James Comey raised questions about whether this latest crisis could compromise the implementation of the government's economic agenda.

On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index .JTOPI gained 0.16 percent to 47,636 points while the All-Share index .JALSH rose 0.15 percent to 54,254 points.

The gold sector .JGLDX rose 4.28 percent as domestic political uncertainties sent investors into safe-haven buying.

President Jacob Zuma's lawyers sought to appeal a High Court order directing him to provide reasons for his decision to fire the former finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle. times of uncertainty people tend to go for stocks with more intrinsic value and gold is one of them," said Independent Securities trader Ryan Woods.

Bullion shares were further boosted by spot gold prices XAU= , which rose 0.2 percent to $1,223.42 an ounce. the biggest gainers on the top 40 index, Goldfields GFIJ.J rose 5.57 percent to 45.50 rand, Impala Platinum added 5.28 percent to 43.85 rand and AngloGold Ashanti ANGJ.J climbed 4.07 percent to 147.70 rand.

Further gains were curbed by local rand-hedged stocks - which make the bulk of their revenue outside South Africa and tend to weaken as the rand strengthens - with Glencore (LON: GLEN ) GLNJ.J down 1.54 percent to 50.45 rand.

In fixed income, government bonds also firmed. The yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 ZAR186= fell 4.5 basis points to 8.745 percent.

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