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UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand weakens, stocks hit three-month low - REUTERS

OCTOBER 10, 2018

* Rand back to reality after Mboweni bump

* Naspers drags bourse lower on Tencent weakness

* Global tech stocks under pressure (Adds latest prices)

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 10 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand weakened on Wednesday, giving back gains it made following Tito Mboweni’s appointment as fiance minister, with investors banking profits ahead of a ratings decision on Friday.

In the equities market, stocks were hammered by losses of market-heavyweight Naspers.

At 1643 GMT the rand was 0.81 percent weaker at 14.6725, having rallied as far as 14.5200 overnight on some investor relief over the appointment.

The currency breached the crucial 15.00 level on Monday on reports Nhlanhla Nene wanted to quit the Treasury, with selling pressure exacerbated by a stronger dollar and investor weariness ahead of an expected ratings review by Moody’s on Friday.


With the Treasury impasse out of the way dollar longs quickly resumed supremacy, spurred by U.S. bond yields hovering at multi-year peaks, diminishing the carry trade appeal of currencies like the rand.

Bonds also paused their rally, with yield on the benchmark 2026 paper up 1 basis point to 9.23 percent

The Johannesburg All-Share index fell to a near three-month low and the Top-40 index declined to a six-month low.

The all-share index weakened 2.54 percent to 52,813 points, while the Top-40 index fell 2.8 percent to 46,625 points.

Naspers bore the brunt of China’s Tencent after the gaming and social media giant stumbled to its lowest level since July last year as JP Morgan cut its price target to HK$400 from HK$460.

Naspers, which owns a 31.2 percent stake in Tencent, tumbled 6.47 percent to 2,656.98 rand, the lowest since July 2017.

Weaknesses were also exacerbated by a general decline in global technology firms.

“The JSE All-share index is in the red again, thanks mostly to a further decline in Tencent which leads to further weakness in Naspers,” said equities asset manager Vestact in a note.

Some of the dual-listed companies mirrored global stocks, with jeweller Richemont down 4.23 percent at 108.30 rand and packaging and paper firm Mondi, which is also listed in London, down 6.99 percent to 353.03 rand. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Nqobile Dludla Editing by James Macharia)

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