Bloomberg News

Rand Gains for Second Week as Labor Unrest Eases; Yields Fall

October 19, 2012

The rand appreciated for a second week as striking employees at Gold Fields Ltd., South Africa’s second-largest producer of the metal, returned to work and other gold mining companies improved a pay offer to workers.

The currency traded 0.3 percent stronger at 8.6290 per dollar by 4 p.m. in Johannesburg, taking its advance this week to 1.2 percent, the most since the week through Sept. 7. Yields on 6.75 percent bonds due 2021 dropped two basis points to 6.62 percent.

Unauthorized stoppages led to a drop of about 40 percent in the country’s gold output this month, weakening the continent’s largest economy. Gold producers in South Africa, holder of almost a third of the world’s reserves, improved a wage offer to employees today as more than 60,000 workers involved in strikes across the mining industry reported for duty, including those at Gold Fields Ltd.’s KDC West and Beatrix shafts.

“It’s definitely supporting the rand a bit; I don’t think there’s anything else on people’s minds at the moment,” Bidvest Bank’s chief dealer Ion de Vleeschauwer says by phone. “The fact that there is some resolution is evident in the rate.”

Foreign investors were net buyers of 3 billion rand ($347 million) in the first four days of this week, following 1.5 billion rand of outflows the previous week, according to JSE Ltd. data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at sgunnion@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net


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