South African rand firms against dollar

On Monday, South Africa's rand rose after the US dollar retreated from its latest 20-year high. At 15:30 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 16.8350 against the dollar, 0.37% stronger than its previous close. The rand had fallen to 17.0025 earlier in the day.

Rising interest rates in the developed world make high-yielding but riskier emerging market currencies such as the rand lose their appeal to investors. In the stock market, the Top-40 .JTOPI index closed down 1.51%, while the broader all-share .JALSH ended 1.38% lower, mirroring the slump in global equities fuelled by global recession fears.

However, retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd MSMJ.J had a bumper day and closed nearly 45% higher, after U.S. retail giant Walmart Inc WMT.N launched a 6.4 billion rand ($380.05 million) offer for the remaining 47% of the South African company it did not already own, a move welcomed by analysts.

[ US$1 = 16.8401 rand ]



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