South Africa’s rand retreats as sellers return to take profits

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand weakened on Wednesday, giving back gains made after a larger-than-expected expansion in third-quarter GDP as investors took some profits on the recent rally.

At 0630 GMT the rand was 0.43 percent weaker at 13.4950 per dollar, compared to a close of 13.4375 overnight in New York.

The rand has gained on investor bets of a victory by the current Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ruling African National Congress’s leadership conference next week where President Jacob Zuma’s successor will be crowned.

The currency firmed in the previous session after the economy expanded by a surprise 2 percent quarter-on-quarter, but failed to breach the 13.40 technical resistance mark.

With only November business confidence data due, rand moves seen linked to offshore events and moves in the euro and the greenback.

Bonds were firmer, with the yield on the benchmark government paper due in 2026 down 3 basis points to 9.145 percent.

Stocks were set to open lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s benchmark Top-40 futures index down 0.9 percent.

Market focus zooms in on Steinhoff following the shock overnight resignation of CEO Markus Jooste over a European regulator investigation into accounting irregularities.

-(Reuters)

 

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