Tuesday , January 26 2021

Rand S.Africa recovers after a hard week; stocks reached new heights

This illustrative image, taken on 28 October 2020, shows the coins of the South African rand. REUTERS / Mike Hutchings / Illustration

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The South African rand strengthened against the dollar on Friday and recovered after a tough week in which the country recorded the peak of daily infections with COVID-19, and doubts about the supply of vaccines came to the fore.

At 1623 GMT, the rand was trading at 15.3275 against the US currency, which is 0.8% more than in the previous period.

Randu was helped in part by the softening of the dollar following a weak U.S. job report, although investors were also comforted by the news that South Africa will receive the first batch of vaccines from a serum institute in India.

However, the rand this week was still on track for more than a 4% loss against the dollars.

The government has come under sharp criticism from scientists, unions and health workers in recent days over its vaccination strategy. At a time when richer countries are already introducing vaccinations, South Africa has not yet received the first doses and has only recently announced its vaccination plans.

A slow vaccination program would further boost the chances of economic recovery in the continent’s most industrialized country.

Shares listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange advanced for the fifth day in a row on Friday, reaching record values, the All-share index rose 0.76% to 63,519 points and the top-40 blue-chip index by 0.72% higher at 58,423 points.

Among the winners was also the petrochemical company Sasol, which rose by 4.56% after the rise in oil prices.

Containment of further gains decreased by 3.23% after the weakening of the gold price. Government bonds were slightly modified, the yield on the bond by 2030 was 8.795%.

Reporting by Alexander Winning and Tanisha Heiberg; Edited by Kirsten Donovan

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