Rand slides as coronavirus infection rise dims outlook

The rand weakened on Tuesday as worries over surges in coronavirus infections reactivated investor concerns about the economic impact of the pandemic.

At 1505 GMT, the rand was 0.69% weaker at R17.11 per dollar.

Deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in India surpassed 20 000 and case numbers increased, with infections in the United States also jumping, dampening global enthusiasm over the easing of lockdowns.

Locally, COVID-19 deaths passed the 3 000 mark, with infections at more than 200 000.

“Despite the recent easing of local lockdown measures, the current levels of activity in markets have yet to suggest any recovery,” analysts at Nedbank said in a note.

“The rand is currently trading in the middle of the short-term technical range, and the objective on the downside remains around the R16.70 level.”

Stocks bucked a global trend of a fall in share prices, with the benchmark FTSE/JSE All Share index up 0.77% to end the day at 55,267 points and the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Companies’ Index closing up 0.9% to 50,958 points.

Bonds were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark 2030 government issue rising 15 basis points to 9.665%.

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