S.African rand firms as dollar dips on modest inflation data

The South African rand extended gains against the dollar on Wednesday after inflation in the U.S. slowed in June, boosting hopes interest rates might not be hiked several times this year.

At 1503 GMT, the rand was up over 1.6% against the dollar to 18.1925, its highest level in a month.

U.S. consumer prices rose to 3% in June, lower than market expectations of a 3.1% increase, signalling to investors that the U.S. Federal Reserve may be nearing the end of its tightening cycle.

The main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (.JALSH) was up 1.99% to 76,367 points, while the benchmark top 40 (.JTOPI) rose above 2.1% to 70,991.

Greg Davies, head of wealth at asset manager Cratos Capital, added that the weakness in the dollar boosted metals prices while the prospect of slower rate hikes had a positive impact overall on the local bourse.

The resources index (.JRESI) rose by 3.1%, driven by platinum group metal’s miners, Northam Platinum (NPHJ.J) and Anglo American platinum (AMSJ.J).

South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond firmed further, with the yield down 2.1 basis points to 10.515%.


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