UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand gains against weaker dollar, stocks up

  • Reuters
  • Forex News
UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand gains against weaker dollar, stocks up
Credit: © Reuters.

* Dollar weaker against euro ahead of French vote

* Stocks lifted by heavyweight rand hedges (Updates figures, adds details, gives quotes)

JOHANNESBURG, May 5 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand rose against the dollar on Friday, bouncing from a close-to four-week low earlier in the session as the dollar weakened ahead of the French presidential election, while stocks were led higher by heavyweight rand hedges.

The dollar hit its lowest level in roughly six months against the euro after data showing U.S. jobs growth rebounded sharply in April was not enough to shake investors' bullishness toward the single currency ahead of Sunday's second round vote. 1553 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 was trading 1.23 percent stronger at 13.4775.

On the bourse, the benchmark JSE Top-40 index .JTOPI was up 0.56 percent at 47,009 points and the broader All-share index .JALSH gained 0.32 percent to 53,579 points.

Local rand-hedged stocks - which make the bulk of their revenue outside South Africa and tend to rise as the rand weakens - led gainers.

Despite Friday's gains, the rand remained well down on the week, having declined sharply in recent days.

"The rand hedges are propping it up. Naspers has a part to play being the biggest weighted (share) in the index," said Independent Securities trader Ryan Woods.

The mining sector .JMINI rose 1.83 percent, benefiting from platinum prices XPT= which were up 1.2 percent at $909.90 an ounce.

Among top gainers, Lonmin LONJ.J rose 4.44 percent to 18.82 rand, Reinet Investments REIJ.J gained 1.96 percent to 32.22 rand and Naspers NPNJn.J lifted 1.72 percent to 2581.25 rand.

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