JOHANNESBURG, Feb 5 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed for the third straight session on Wednesday, as reports of medical breakthroughs in the fight against the new coronavirus in China lifted risk appetite.
At 1500 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 14.7630 per dollar, 0.18% firmer than its previous close.
"The rand is clearly more concerned with external drivers with positive developments in the coronavirus saga simulating appetite for the local currency," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM.
"If the market mood continues to improve, the rand could trade towards 14.60. However, it is worth keeping in mind that concerns over the coronavirus outbreak remain a major market."
Media reported that a Chinese university had found a drug to treat people with the virus, while researchers in Britain had made a "significant breakthrough" in finding a vaccine. the equities market, stocks surged for a second straight day, helped by improved risk appetite, Sasol SOLJ.J and Ascendis Health ASCJ.J gains.
The All-Share index was led higher by struggling health and wellness firm Ascendis, up 5% to 1.05 rand, after it said it expects normalised earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the six months to Dec. 31 to either fall by 1% or rise by 10%. group Sasol SOLJ.J topped the blue-chip index, up 4.47% to 245.50 rand as oil prices jumped by more than 3% on Wednesday after reports on the coronavirus drug.
Gold stocks .JGLDX took a breather as risk appetite amongst investors led to a decrease in demand for the safe haven asset.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark bond ZAR186= was down 4 basis points to 7.910%.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.