JOHANNESBURG, July 9 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed against the dollar on Thursday thanks to a rally in riskier assets globally even as poor manufacturing data at home highlighted the blow to the economy from a coronavirus lockdown.
At 1540 GMT the rand ZAR=D3 was 0.12% firmer at 16.9000 per dollar, after hitting a four-week high of 16.7975 earlier.
"Markets continue to seesaw, flipping between risk-on and risk-off at the blink of an eye," Bianca Botes, executive director at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, said in a note.
"Gold eased from nine-year highs on Thursday, assisting emerging market currencies to recover some ground after weakening earlier in the week."
The rand largely ignored data showing South Africa's manufacturing output fell 49.4% year on year in April, reflecting the impact of a nationwide lockdown on the recession-hit economy. Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) lost steam after surging for three consecutive trading days this week as poor manufacturing data and a global surge in coronavirus cases caught up with the market.
The benchmark FTSE/JSE All Share Index .JALSH closed down 0.15% to 55,788 points while the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Companies Index slipped 0.04% to end the day at 51,537 points.
The JSE's gold index .JGLDX , which represents 5 top gold mining companies, was at an all-time high on the back of rise in gold prices globally as investors shunned equities and parked money in safe haven. The index went up 3.5%, but pared some gains to settle down 0.4% from the previous close at 1600 GMT.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 government issue ZAR2030= was down 3.5 basis points to 9.650%.
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