In South Africa Rand, stocks falter on EM sell-off

The rand hit a session low of 14.6440 to the U.S. currency, its weakest since April 18, and was trading down 2.51 percent at 14.6380 by 1628 GMT.

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The hand of Former South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus is seen holding South Africa's new rand banknotes - which feature an image of former president Nelson Mandela on the front in a file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko play The hand of Former South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus is seen holding South Africa's new rand banknotes - which feature an image of former president Nelson Mandela on the front in a file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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South Africa's rand fell more than 2.5 percent against the dollar on Tuesday, hit by a broader sell-off in global emerging markets and by companies buying the greenback after a long weekend.

Stocks fell by a similar margin to three-week lows, pressured by the concerns over global growth after weak data from China, a major importer of commodities sold by countries such as South Africa.

The rand hit a session low of 14.6440 to the U.S. currency, its weakest since April 18, and was trading down 2.51 percent at 14.6380 by 1628 GMT.

"From what we've picked up it (the weakness of the rand) has got more to do with just corporate demand (for dollars) that's come back into the market," ETM analyst George Glynos said, also noting that the rand had made strong gains in the past two weeks.

"The rand has come quite a long way, it's probably due a bit of a retrace but I don't think it's anything to be particularly concerned about," Glynos said.

Government bonds also weakened, with the yield for the 2026 benchmark instrument due in 2026 climbing 13.5 basis points to 9.110 percent.

On the stock market, the benchmark Top-40 index was down 1.98 percent to 45,548 points while the broader All-Share index slipped 1.97 percent to 51,912 points.

Mining companies Anglo American, Lonmin and Exxaro Resources were the worst three performing stocks on Johannesburg's All-Share index as prices were hit by downbeat data from China.

Activity at China's factories shrank for the 14th straight month in April as demand stagnated, data showed on Tuesday, adding to questions over whether the world's second-largest economy is recovering.

Anglo fell 11 percent to 141 rand, platinum producer Lonmin plunged 8.73 percent to 37 rand while diversified miner Exxaro slid 6.52 percent to 83.90 rand.

Rand-hedged stocks, such as Richemont, British American Tobacco and SABMiller, helped cap further losses as the rand currency is weakened.

Luxury goods maker Richemont rose 0.97 percent to 95.56 rand, British American Tobacco ticked up 1.47 percent to 884.39 rand, while beer maker SABMiller edged up 2.30 percent 888.33 rand.

The "rand hedges" are Johannesburg-listed companies that reap the bulk of their revenue outside South Africa, making them less sensitive to weakness in the currency.

Trade volume was below average, with 273 million shares changing hands compared to last year's daily average of 280 million shares.

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