South Africa’s rand weakens on risk aversion; stocks rise

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand weakened against the dollar on Wednesday amid dwindling demand for riskier assets and fears U.S.-China trade tension would not be resolved at an upcoming G20 summit.

At 1500 GMT the rand traded at 13.9675 per dollar, 0.4 percent weaker than its New York close of 13.9125. The intraday high was 13.9900.

Bonds also weakened, with the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 rising 5 basis points to 9.040 percent.

“The rand has been tightly range bound and waiting for the G20 meeting later in the week to give new impetus to the rand. This week we see the rand range bound between 13.80 to 14.10,” said Treasury One dealer Andre Botha.

In equities, the All Share index rose 1.47 percent to 52,111 points while the Top 40 index climbed 1.74 percent at 46,023 points. Banks gained 1.58 percent.

U.S. President Donald Trump is prepared to raise tariffs on Chinese imports if there is no breakthrough on longstanding trade issues when he meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Saturday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday.

Global markets had climbed on reports on Tuesday when Kudlow said Trump would meet with Xi at the upcoming G20 gathering in Argentina, renewing hopes of a trade deal.

“That is the key thing. The market is watching for any indicator on either side of any possible progress, even an agreement to talks,” said Greg Davies, equities trader at Cratos Capital.

Bourse heavyweight Naspers closed 4.66 percent higher at 2,917 rand after shares in technology giant Ten cent Holdings, in which it has a 31 percent stake, jumped to an eight-week high on plans to roll out mobile payment services in Japan.

Reporting by Nomvelo Chalumbira and Patricia Aruo, editing by Larry King

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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