South Africa's rand falls on watchdog's central bank comments; stocks up


UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand falls on watchdog's central bank comments; stocks up

* Rand falls more than 1.5 pct against dollar
    * Stocks rally on bargain buying

 (Updates figures, gives background, fresh quotes)
    JOHANNESBURG, June 19 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand <ZAR=>
fell more than 1.5 percent on Monday after the public protector
agency recommended changing the constitution to force the
central bank to promote economic growth rather than currency and
price stability.
    Stocks gained as oversold shares attracted buyers.
    By 1546 GMT, the rand was trading 1.13 percent weaker to the
dollar at 12.9500, having hit a session low of 13.0525.
    In her recommendations, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
said the constitution should be changed to make promoting
balanced and sustainable economic growth the South African
Reserve Bank's primary objective [nL8N1JG3PJ]. The central bank
said it would respond later.
    "The market doesn't like it because they want to interfere
in institutions like the Reserve Bank," said Treasury One chief
currency dealer Wichard Cilliers
    Government bonds also weakened, with the yield for the
benchmark instrument due in 2026 <ZAR186=> rising 6 basis points
to 8.545, after adding as much as 11 bps earlier.
    Shares in Barclays Africa Group <BGAJ.J> closed the day down
1.12 percent to 144.86 rand after reversing some of its losses
in the session.
    On the stock market, the benchmark Top-40 index <.JTOPI> was
up 1.95 percent at 45,381 points and the broader All-share index
<.JALSH> rose 1.54 percent to reach 51,616 points.
    The blue-chip top 40 index closed lower in the previous two
sessions after dropping to its lowest in nearly two and a half
years low on Thursday. A revised mining charter had sparked a
selloff in mining shares [nL8N1JC1YI].
    "Our market is just bouncing on the back of oversold levels.
Its just a bit of a broad-based rally," said BP Bernstein trader
Vasili Tirasis.
    Among shares gaining the most were Naspers <NPNJn.J>, up
3.88 percent to 2594.91 rand; Mondi <MNDJ.J>, up 6.24 percent to
347.74 rand; and Discovery <DSYJ.J>, up 3.81 percent to 129.37

 (Reporting by Olwethu Boso, Tanisha Heiberg and Olivia
Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Larry King)
 ((Tanisha.Heiberg@thomsonreuters.com; +27117753034; Reuters
Messaging: tanisha.heiberg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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