Bloomberg News

South Africa’s Rand Fluctuates as Market Heads for Early Close

December 24, 2013

The rand swung between gains and losses against the dollar as foreigners continued to sell South African assets and as the country’s financial markets headed for an early close, slowing trading. Bonds were little changed.

Foreign investors sold a net 529 million rand ($51 million) of bonds from Africa’s biggest economy and a net 45 million rand of stocks yesterday, according to data from the nation’s bourse. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange closes shortly after 12 p.m. for the Christmas holiday and before the release of U.S. data on new home sales and durable goods orders.

“The rand is bound in a small range today as not many people are at work,” Ion de Vleeschauwer, chief currency dealer at Bidvest Bank Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg. “The rand will probably close at its current level.”

The currency was little changed at 10.3443 per dollar by 10:25 a.m. in Johannesburg. The yield on rand-denominated bonds due December 2026 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 8.17 percent. Rates on 10-year debt rose one basis point to 7.81 percent after falling to their lowest level since Nov. 20 yesterday.

The pace of new home sales in the U.S. decelerated to 440,000 in November from 444,000 the previous month a report will show at 5 p.m. in Johannesburg, according to the median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Orders for products meant to last at least three years grew 2 percent last month, compared with a decline in October, Commerce Department data will show at 3:30 p.m., according to a survey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at avisser3@bloomberg.net

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


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