South Africa's rand firmer ahead of third-quarter GDP data

South Africa's rand firmer ahead of third-quarter GDP data

South Africa's rand firmer ahead of third-quarter GDP data

South Africa's rand fell more than one percent against the USA dollar on Thursday as the greenback rose, while stocks edged up slightly, despite another share plunge by Steinhoff International.

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

"It's more the dollar play than anything else", said TreasuryOne currency dealer Phillip Pearce.

Investors in rand assets also have one eye on the race to succeed President Jacob Zuma as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

On the stock market, the benchmark Top-40 index was up 0.2 percent at 51,656 points, while the broader All-share index rose by 0.01 percent to 58,013 points.

Signs that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa - who is viewed as the more business-friendly candidate for - has been doing well in nominations by ANC branches have supported the rand in recent weeks.

Both companies have large investments outside South Africa and their shares typically gain when the rand weakens. And the yield on the government's local-currency bonds due December 2026, which was down about six basis points when the data was released, fell two more basis points to 9.16%.

Naspers came under pressure after weakness in Chinese internet company Tencent and extended losses to close down 3 percent at 3,520 rand after a US law firm launched an inquiry on behalf of shareholders into whether it engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful businesses practices.

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