Economy 2 MIN READ

UPDATE 1-South African rand firms slightly, tracking dollar moves

May 11, 2022By Reuters

Updates rand to reflect afternoon trade, adds stocks

The South African rand firmed slightly on Wednesday, tracking moves in the U.S. dollar which dipped against a basket of currencies.

At 1600 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 16.0625 per dollar, around 0.3% stronger than its previous close and adding to gains from a day earlier. nL2N2X21K7

U.S. consumer inflation for April came in higher than expected in annual terms on Wednesday but lower than the March figure, causing the dollar to briefly turn positive on the day. But the dollar index =USD later fell to trade down roughly 0.2%. nL2N2X31E0

After the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points last week, the largest hike in 22 years, investors have been attempting to assess how aggressive it will be in tightening monetary policy.

South Africa’s Reserve Bank has a rate-setting meeting next week and is also expected to tighten policy to try to tame inflation.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, stocks closed firmer, led by technology companies linked to Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings 0700.HK. Tencent was partly boosted by U.S. President Joe Biden saying he was considering eliminating Trump-era tariffs on China. nL2N2X21K4

Tech investors and market heavyweights Naspers NPNJn.J and Prosus PRXJn.J jumped 7.32% and 5.62% respectively. Naspers has a majority stake in Prosus, which in turn holds 28.9% in Tencent.

Overall, the Johannesburg All-Share index .JALSH rose 2.16% to 68,416 points while the Top-40 index .JTOPI climbed 2.36% to 61,786 points.

Commodity shares were also behind the higher close as the mining index .JMINI rose 1.65% on strong gold, silver and platinum prices. GOL/

(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla and Alexander Winning; Editing by Richard Chang)


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