Bonds

S.Africa's rand firmer as trade talk hopes rise, stocks edge up

Credit: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

South Africa's rand firmed on Wednesday as risk appetite improved after comments from the U.S. Treasury Secretary suggesting progress in a trade deal with China, offsetting disappointment about the size of potential U.S. interest rate cuts.

Rand rises on U.S-China trade progress

Stocks tread water

Update prices

JOHANNESBURG, June 26 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed on Wednesday as risk appetite improved after comments from the U.S. Treasury Secretary suggesting progress in a trade deal with China, offsetting disappointment about the size of potential U.S. interest rate cuts.

Stocks rose marginally but were held back as bullion shares came under pressure.

At 1510 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded 0.57% firmer at 14.2750 per dollar. Lack of local economic data or political news kept the currency in a narrow range.

"We are trading in the 10 cents range for the day. I think everybody is sitting on their hands waiting for the G20 summit," said Andre Botha, a senior currency dealer at TreasuryONE.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that the United States and China were close to a trade deal, CNBC reported ahead of G20 meeting this week between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

The rand extended gains made on Tuesday even after members of the Federal Reserve's policy committee tempered market bets on aggressive U.S. rate cuts next month, with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard saying a 50-basis-point reduction "would be overdone."

The benchmark JSE Top-40 share Index .JTOPI rose 0.24% to 52,407.30, while the broader All-Share Index .JALSH ticked up 0.13% to 58,421.72.

Curbing gains were bullion miners .JGLDX which fell 2.2% on a lower spot gold price after the Fed signals. Gold Fields GFIJ.Jfell 4.17% to 76.71 rand and Sibanye-Stillwater SGLJ.J closed down 2.14% at 16.49 rand.

Technology giant and bourse heavyweight company Naspers NPNJn.J rose 1.5% to 3,420.55 rand.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 ZAR186= dipped 3 basis points to 8.14%.

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Naledi Mashishi; editing by John Stonestreet)

((Olivia.Kumwenda@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 595 2817; Reuters Messaging: olivia.kumwenda.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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