JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand firmed against the dollar on Friday, taking advantage of buying interest from traders eyeing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s medium-term budget speech and a Moody’s rating review next week.
At 1545 GMT, the rand was 0.86% firmer at 14.5720 per dollar compared to a close of 14.6950 overnight in New York.
Mboweni is likely to raise the budget deficit because of costs related to the state-owned power utility Eskom, a Reuters poll showed.
Treasury’s best option will be to rely heavily on expenditure cuts and the lifting of economic growth through structural policy adjustments, said Old Mutual’ s chief economist Johann Els.
In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 4.5 basis points to 8.17%.
Stocks were down, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 Index slipping 0.54% to 48,858 points, and the broader all-share index closing 0.61% lower at 55,141 points.
Gold miners were the biggest winners of the blue-chip index for the second day in a row, with Goldfields up 1.3%, followed by Sibanye-Stillwater and AngloGold Ashanti, both up more than 1%.
The biggest loser of the day was the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose Johannesburg-listed stock lost almost 10% after a profit warning that wiped $13 billion of the company’s market value.