UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand retreats as weak data hits buying, stocks stable

  • Reuters
  • Forex News
UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand retreats as weak data hits buying, stocks stable

(Adds latest figures, analyst comments)

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 10 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand retreated on Thursday, putting a hold on a rally that took it to near a 10-month high as weak local data dampened buying, while stocks were mostly unchanged.

At 1557 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 15.0100 versus the dollar, 0.33% weaker than its previous close.

The rand touched its best level since mid-February this week as global risk appetite lifted demand for the currency.

But data showing manufacturing output fell 3.4% year-on-year in October while mining output dropped 6.3% tempered investors' enthusiasm. retail sales data published on Wednesday also showed a decline, down 1.8% year-on-year. government bond yields ZAR2030= were flat at 6.930%.

Stocks were stable with a 3.1% drop in the banking sector .JBANK weighing on gains.

The Johannesburg benchmark all-share index .JALSH dipped 0.02% to end at 59,283 points while the Top-40 index .JTOPI closed 0.03% lower at 54,334 points. group MTNJ.J fell 3.5% after Nigeria directed all telecommunications firms to stop selling SIM cards while it audits rule compliance. stocks .JGLDX firmed 3.41% as the rand weakened, with Harmony Gold HARJ.J closing up 2.26% at 64.65 rand.

South African gold miners benefit from a weaker currency, as their revenues are often in dollars while costs are in rand.

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