South African rand weakens after trade data; stocks rise


South African Rand coins are seen in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/Illustration

South Africa’s rand weakened against the dollar on Friday after data showed the country recorded a smaller-than-expected trade surplus for the month of June.

At 1545 GMT, the rand traded at 16.6125 against the dollar, 0.76% weaker than its previous close.

Data from the South African Revenue Service showed that the trade surplus (ZATBAL=ECI) narrowed to 24.23 billion rand ($1.46 billion) in June from a surplus of 30.85 billion rand in May. 

Market expectations were for a trade surplus of 25.5 billion rand.

Investec analyst Annabel Bishop said in a research note that the country’s terms of trade, which dropped over the first half of the year, added to rand weakness.

The June budget surplus (ZABUDM=ECI) rose to 73.84 billion rand from 63.15 billion rand a year earlier, National Treasury data showed.

On the stock market, the Top-40 (.JTOPI) index and the broader all-share (.JALSH) rose almost 0.5%, driven mostly by mining sector (.JRESI) 

The government’s benchmark 2030 bond rose, with the yield down 6.5 basis points to 10.360%.

($1 = 16.6408 rand)

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