UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand scales 3-week high on increased risk appetite

  • Reuters
  • Forex News
UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand scales 3-week high on increased risk appetite
Credit: © Reuters.

* Rand firms after French election result

* Gold stocks down

* Resource miners biggest losers on market (Adds closing prices, detail, analyst comment)

JOHANNESBURG, April 24 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand hit a three-week high against the dollar on Monday as emerging markets were buoyed by France's presidential election first-round win for the market's preferred candidate.

Stocks rose but gold mining firms anchored gains as safe haven assets were less in demand.

At 1500 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 13.0125 per dollar, 0.89 percent firmer from its New York close on Friday. The unit was trading at its firmest levels since March 30, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Following the first round of the French election we've seen some renewed risk appetite which has bode well for our currency," said IG South Africa senior market analyst Shaun Murison.

Uncertainties surrounding the French vote dissipated after Centrist Emmanuel Macron, a pro-EU and former economy minister, qualified for the May 7 runoff alongside far-right leader Marine Le Pen. fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 ZAR186= dipped 1 basis points to 8.635 percent.

On the stock market, the benchmark Top-40 .JTOPI index was up 1.51 percent firmer at 46,187 points, while the broader All-share index .JALSH gained 1.39 percent to 52,921.

Gold shares weighed on the bourse as the gold mining index .JGLDX was down 5.4 percent.

The bullion price slid more than 1 percent on Monday XAU= , with Gold Fields GFIJ.J the biggest loser among the blue-chips, falling 6.54 percent to 47.46 rand.

Gold is often seen as a safe-haven among investors when there is uncertainty in political matters. Polls have consistently suggested that Macron would beat Le Pen in the second-round vote in France.

"If you look at France right now there is an element of certainty that certain parties or elements have been eliminated from the race," said Global Trader's Paul Chakaduka.

Sibanye Gold SGLJ.J dropped 6.01 percent to 27.82 rand, while AngloGold Ashanti ANGJ.J was down by 5.03 percent to 157.56 rand.

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