Rand edges up as more investors bet against Brex

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand recouped some of the previous day’s heavy losses against the dollar on Friday as risk appetite revived, with more bets placed on Britain voting to stay in the EU following the killing of a pro-EU lawmaker.
Rand
By 0753 GMT, the rand was at 15.1925 to the dollar, gaining 0.98 percent from its New York close on Thursday.

Government bonds also firmed, pulling the yield for 2026 debt 7.5 basis points lower to 9.07 percent.

Analysts said the rand was partly still benefiting from the boost it received on Wednesday from a cautious Federal Reserve policy statement, which saw some investors push out their expectations on the timing of the next rise in U.S. interest rates.

Riskier assets had also rallied after the murder of British lawmaker Jo Cox, which markets interpreted as making a Brexit vote in next week’s British referendum on EU membership less likely.

“Expectations … are that the killing … will swing voters’ views sharply against the “Leave” vote. The response of the markets has been to rally aggressively,” Cairns said.

On the bourse, the JSE exchange’s All-Share index dipped 0.12 percent in early trade, while the benchmark Top-40 index was down 0.2 percent.

Traders expected thin trading across South African markets on Friday, making a volatile session more likely, as some participants had opted to take the day off for an extended weekend after Thursday’s public holiday.

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