Bloomberg News

South African Bonds Snap Five-Day Losing Streak; Rand Declines

January 02, 2013

South African bonds gained for the first time in six days after a U.S. budget deal that averted spending cuts and tax increases in the world’s biggest economy boosted demand for riskier assets. The rand retreated from a three-month high.

Yields on 10.5 percent bonds due in December 2026 dropped five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 7.24 percent as of 3:45 p.m. in Johannesburg. The rand slipped 0.2 percent to 8.4767 per dollar after gaining as much as 0.6 percent in earlier trading to the strongest level since Oct. 4.

Copper and nickel led a rally in metal prices after the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Senate’s budget legislation as Republican lawmakers abandoned efforts to add spending cuts to the bill, removing one impediment to a recovery in the U.S. economy. Gold climbed to a two-week high. Metals and other commodities account for 45 percent of South Africa’s exports, according to government data.

“For now, the mood is more upbeat and this is reflected in risk assets generally,” Quinten Bertenshaw, a Johannesburg- based analyst at ETM Analytics, said in e-mailed comments. “The rand is not benefitting from the risk-on trade given the extent of its gains in the prior month.”

South Africa’s currency has strengthened 5 percent against the dollar in the past month, the best performance out of 25 emerging-market currencies monitored by Bloomberg.

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

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


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