The South African rand remained virtually unchanged on Friday, retaining most of the gains made in the previous session after the central bank announced the biggest increase in key lending rates in more than six years to curb inflation.

The retreat of the U.S. dollar from two-decade highs also supported the rand this week.

At 17:26 the rand traded at 15.8800 against the dollar, down 0.05% from the previous close, remaining close to the two-week highs reached on Thursday.

This week, the render rose 1.7%, tentatively recovering from last month’s escapes from riskier assets in emerging markets.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the South African Reserve Bank on Thursday raised its repo rate by 50 basis points to 4.75% as it stepped up efforts to fight inflation.

He raised his rand forecast to $ 15.88 from $ 15.41 at a previous MPC meeting in March.

“Increased risks to inflation and rand have significantly increased the likelihood of more aggressive interest rates,” Nedbank economists said in a note Thursday.

In March and April, consumer inflation was 5.9% year on year, almost at the top of the central bank’s 3% -6% target range due to rising fuel and food prices linked to the war in Ukraine.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the All-Share index fell 0.98% to 67,575, and the blue chip index of the top 40 companies closed 1.18% to 60,999 points, mostly down by luxury goods maker Richemont, which has a significant weight on indices, even if most sectors did well.

South African billionaire Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, warned on Friday that China’s recovery would be slower than expected.

Read: Rupert of Richemont predicts “unstable times” amid global crises

Its shares fell nearly 13% on the JSE amid investor fears that the owner of brands such as Cartier and Mont Blanc for $ 55 billion will publish poor sales figures in the coming months.

With regard to fixed income bonds, the yield on benchmark bonds fell by 12 basis points to 9.76%, ending the week with a maximum of five weeks.

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