South African Rand Stalls in Restricted Trade, Shares Rise

JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 30 (Reuters) – The South African rand stagnated in restricted trade on Thursday as the currency struggled to make significant gains against a stronger dollar, while stocks edged up.

At around 3:05 p.m. GMT, the rand was trading at 15.9450 against the dollar, unchanged from the previous close.

The dollar appreciated against major rival currencies as investors remained cautiously optimistic about the economic consequences of a surge in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Read more

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Researchers said on Thursday that a booster dose of the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson Inc (JNJ.N) was 84% ​​effective in preventing hospitalization of South African healthcare workers who were infected during the spread of the Omicron variant. Read more

The rand was expected to remain volatile in holiday-cleared trade.

“Thin markets and low liquidity could see the rand trade above R16.00 in the near term,” said Andre Cilliers, currency strategist at TreasuryONE.

In the stock market, the Top-40 index (.JTOPI) closed 0.77% higher at 67,129 points while the larger index (.JALSH) was up 0.75% at 73,786. points.

In fixed income, the yield on the 2030 benchmark government bond increased by 3 basis points to 9.430%.

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Reporting by Nqobile Dludla and Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Alex Richardson

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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