UPDATE 1-South Africa’s rand weaker as risk demand fades before Easter, stocks up

* Rand slide alongside EM friends

* Shares boosted by rising commodity costs (Provides shares, updates ranges, provides dealer remark)

JOHANNESBURG, April 18 (Reuters) – South Africa’s forex weakened on Thursday, shedding floor in opposition to a stronger greenback as buyers closed positions and took income earlier than the Easter vacation – whereas shares took coronary heart from rising gold costs.

The forex has eked out positive aspects within the earlier session after retail gross sales got here in weak however higher than forecasts. However by 1500 GMT, it was again past the 14.00 mark in opposition to the greenback – zero.5 p.c softer at 14.07.

“In the mean time we’ve had fairly a robust week and now individuals are simply squaring of their books for his or her weekend,” mentioned Sanlam Non-public Wealth Portfolio Supervisor Garth Curry.

Authorities bonds have been flat with the yield on the benchmark 2026 bond at eight.465 p.c.

Shares rose as gold costs jumped aided by a world flip to safe-haven property on renewed issues about world development.

Regardless of a weak early session, the Johannesburg Inventory Trade Prime-40 Index closed zero.59 p.c larger to 52,792, whereas the broader All-Share Index climbed zero.53 p.c to 59,110.

Basic merchandisers continued to reap the advantages of the retail information, rising 2.31 p.c.

Prime performers included Clicks which rose 5.84 p.c to 195.46 after it mentioned on Wednesday half-year earnings wee up 13.2 p.c on sturdy well being and wonder product gross sales.

Commodities have been among the many high blue-chip performers, with Goldfields up 2.48 p.c to 549 rand whereas rival AngloGold Ashanti rose 1.85 p.c to 183.69.

The gold miners index was up 1.57 p.c as buyers turned to safe-haven property following weak manufacturing surveys from Asia and Europe.

————————————————————————————- (Reporting by Onke Ngcuka and Naledi Mashishi; Modifying by Andrew Cawthorne)

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