South African Rand Strengthens as Dollar Falls; stocks go up

South African banknotes featuring images of former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) are displayed alongside US dollar banknotes in this photo illustration in Johannesburg, file. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

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Sep 9 (Reuters) – The South African rand strengthened on Friday after the dollar fell ahead of a U.S. inflation report that could determine the extent of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike during the policy meeting this month.

At 15:50 GMT, the rand was trading at 17.2700 against the dollar, 1.47% stronger than its previous close.

The dollar index, which measures the currency against six rivals, fell about 0.5% to 108.950. Read more

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On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the Top-40 index (.JTOPI) rose 2.46%, while the broader all-stock index (.JALSH) rose 2.15%, driven mainly by mining (.JRESI) and banking (.JBANK).

Rising commodity prices have boosted assets in the resource-rich country, Gerhard Parkin, portfolio manager at BP Bernstein, told Reuters.

“It’s just a relief rally in stocks that have been oversold,” Parkin said.

He also cited Chinese inflation data that fell below consensus and left room for further central bank policy easing. Read more

Among the gainers, miners Anglo American Platinum (AMSJ.J), Anglo American PLC, Kumba Iron Ore (KIOJ.J) and BHP Group Ltd rose around 5-6%. Overall, the mining index (.JMINI) closed up 2.68%.

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond rose, with yield down 7.5 basis points to 10.305%.

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Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru, Anait Miridzhanian and Nqobile Dludla in Johannesburg Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Tomasz Janowski

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