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South Africa's rand and stocks slip, tracking global moves

07/30/2021 | 12:27pm EDT
A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa's rand and stocks slipped on Friday, tracking global market moves, but the rand was on course for a weekly gain of over 1% against the dollar thanks to a dovish tone from this week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

At 1617 GMT, the rand traded at 14.5975 against the dollar, roughly 0.3% weaker, as the greenback made similar gains against a basket of currencies.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell wrong-footed dollar bulls this week by saying that interest rate increases were "a ways away" and the job market still had "some ground to cover."

Riskier currencies such as the rand thrive on U.S. rates staying low because they benefit from the interest rate differential that increases their appeal for so-called carry trade, in which investors borrow in a low-yielding currency to invest in higher-yielding assets.

Upbeat trade and budget data on Friday had little impact on rand trading.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange's All-share index lost 0.85% at 68,971 points, while the Top-40 index closed 0.86% weaker at 62,852 points.

Local bullion miners Gold Fields and Harmony Gold lost 1.35% and 3.39% respectively, as gold prices edged off a two-week high.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Richard Chang)

ę Reuters 2021
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