UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand dips but set for weekly gains, shares soar

  • Reuters
  • Forex News
UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand dips but set for weekly gains, shares soar
Credit: © Reuters.

(Adds latest figures, analyst comments)

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 6 (Reuters) - The South African rand ended weaker in choppy trade on Friday but was still near its best level in eight months after a rally driven by indications that Democrat Joe Biden was edging closer to winning a tight U.S. presidential election. 1530 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 was 0.16% weaker at 15.7050 per dollar from an opening level of 15.6800. Volatility since vote counting in the United States commenced has seen the currency hit extremes of 16.4250 and 15.5670, its best since early March.

It was a similar story for many emerging market and risk assets after voting officially closed on Tuesday, keeping investors already weary from COVID-19 on their toes.

Local factors barely got a look in, although upcoming ratings decisions on South Africa's already junk-rated debt and the monetary policy outlook at home and in the U.S. and Europe remained on the radar.

"The risk-taking mood in financial markets is seeing EM portfolio assets benefit, but particularly these rand assets, with the foreign net purchases of SA bonds ramping up yesterday as a Biden win became more secure," said Investec Chief Economist Annabel Bishop.

Bonds continued to rally, with the yield on benchmark paper due in 2030 ZAR2030= down .05 basis points to 8.965%.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) extended gains on Friday to post its biggest weekly rise in seven months, taking it to levels last seen in mid September.

The benchmark all share index .JALSH ended the day 2.1% higher at 56,387 points and the bluechip top 40 companies index .JTOPI was up 2.19% to close the week at 51,876 points.

Expectations of a more stable regime under the Democrats tempered by a Republican Senate kept stocks soaring, analysts said.

Gold prices were set to post their best week since July, lifting gold mining companies, with the gold index .JGLDX closing up 3.59%. GOL/

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