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Rand trades stronger against the US dollar ahead of interest rates announcement

The rand rose on Monday, buoyed by improving global sentiments as upbeat Chinese economic data eased concerns about a slowdown in the world’s No 2 economy. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

The rand rose on Monday, buoyed by improving global sentiments as upbeat Chinese economic data eased concerns about a slowdown in the world’s No 2 economy. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

Published Nov 17, 2021

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The rand rose on Monday, buoyed by improving global sentiments as upbeat Chinese economic data eased concerns about a slowdown in the world’s No 2 economy.

At 1511 GMT, the rand traded at 15.2475 against the dollar, 0.6 percent firmer than its previous close.

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Global markets were bolstered on Monday as annual growth in Chinese retail sales and industrial output beat forecasts, with the bounce in consumption a positive given pandemic restrictions, though falling mainland house prices and rising Covid-19 cases across Europe tempered the optimism.

In South Africa, investors were waiting for domestic inflation data, due alongside retail sales data yesterday, and the central bank’s monetary policy meeting.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) starts its three-day monetary policy committee meeting on Tuesday, with the decision on interest rates due on Thursday.

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A Reuters poll found that 13 of 20 economists surveyed between November 10 and 12 said the repo rate would be kept unchanged at 3.50 percent, while the other seven predicted a hike of 25 basis points.

But in an extra question answered by 12 economists, a median of responses suggested there was an almost 50 percent chance the SARB would hike interest rates at this meeting.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 maturity was up 3.5 basis points to 9.435 percent.

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Stocks rose, with the JSE’s Top-40 Index rising 0.34 percent to 63.481 points and the broader All-Share Index up 0.24 percent to 70.091 points.

Shares in drinksmaker Distell fell 7 percent after investors were left disappointed by the price of a takeover offer by Heineken.

REUTERS

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