In South Africa Rand recovers, stocks to open weaker

Equity futures on South Africa's blue-chip Top-40 index, considered a precursor of the actual index, fell 0.65 percent.

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South African rand notes in a file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko play South African rand notes in a file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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South Africa's rand recovered on Friday from a sharp fall a day earlier as emerging assets found some relief thanks to ebbing appetite for the dollar - though traders said the rebound could be short-lived.

Stocks looked set to open 307 points weaker, following falls in Asia after commodity prices tumbled to multi-year lows on worries that slower global growth may worsen a supply glut.

Equity futures on South Africa's blue-chip Top-40 index, considered a precursor of the actual index, fell 0.65 percent.

Government bonds were also weaker, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 adding 1 basis point to 8.605 percent.

At 0645 GMT the rand edged 0.21 percent firmer 14.2855, reversing a more than one percent slide to a new record low of 14.3860 in the previous session triggered by jitters over the U.S. rate hike as well poor domestic mining data.

Traders, however, expect the unit's recovery to be short-lived with dollar strength set to resume after Federal Reserve officials lined backed a likely December interest rate hike on Thursday.

"The new threat to the rand is the renewed commodity slump," currency trader at Rand Merchant Bank John Cairns said.

"Simply put, this is not a time when most investors would be looking to increase exposure to high-risk, commodity-linked assets and currencies," Cairns said.

Total mining production fell by 4.8 percent in September, adding pressure on a South African economy already reeling from severe drought, which is expected to further diminish growth and stoke inflation.

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