Bloomberg News

Rand Snaps 5-Day Losing Streak on U.S. Housing Data; Yields Fall

August 16, 2012

The rand gained, snapping a five-day losing streak, after data on U.S. housing and employment added to signals the world’s biggest economy is stabilizing, boosting demand for riskier assets. Bond yields fell.

South Africa’s currency gained as much as 0.4 percent and traded 0.3 percent stronger at 8.2169 as of 4:54 p.m. in Johannesburg, paring a 1.9 percent slump in the preceding five days. Yields on 6.75 percent bonds due 2021 dropped two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 6.91 percent, the first decline in five days.

U.S. building permits, a proxy for future construction, rose to a 812,000 pace last month, the most since August 2008, while jobless claims were little changed. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher repeated his view yesterday that the economy probably won’t lapse into a recession in 2013 and that new stimulus won’t spur growth.

“Global data remains encouraging,” John Cairns and Josina Solomons, currency strategists at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, said in e-mailed comments. “Our compatriot currencies have started to adjust stronger again and the rand should be pulled along in their wake.”

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index gained for a third day as prices of industrial metals including copper rose. Emerging- market stocks rallied. South Africa’s benchmark stock index advanced, led by commodity exporters including BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Anglo American Plc. (AAL)

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Brand in Cape Town at rbrand9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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