October 5, 2018 / 3:47 PM / in 7 months

UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand climbs on slack U.S. jobs data, stocks over 1 pct lower

* Rand aided by tame U.S. jobs figures

* Stocks end week over 1 percent lower (Adds latest prices, analyst quote)

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 5 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand snapped a five-day losing streak on Friday after employment data in the United States disappointed dollar bulls and prompted fresh demand for emerging market currencies.

Stocks ended the week lower across most sectors, tracking a downbeat tone in global markets which were hit by rising U.S. yields.

At 1500 GMT the rand was 0.8 percent firmer at 14.7400 per dollar, having raced to a session best 14.6750 after data for September showing U.S. job gains fell short of expectations while wage increases slowed, stalling the greenback’s progress.

A big jump in U.S. treasuries and a still hawkish Federal Reserve have seen investors flock to the dollar in recent weeks.

The rand has also been pressured by signs of slack economic recovery after the gross domestic product contracted in the first two quarters, with a dip in te purchasing managers index adding to worries about fiscal position.

“Expectations around the outcome of the medium-term budget statement, to be announced towards the end of the month and Moody’s credit rating review, could influence the direction of the local currency,” said Investec economist Lara Hodes.

Bonds were also on the backfoot, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 adding 4 basis points to 9.24 percent.

On South Africa’s bourse, the all share index was down 1.13 percent to 54,409 points while the Top 40 index fell 1.33 percent to 48,258 points.

MTN fell as much as 8 percent on investor fears that a dispute with the Nigerian central bank over $8.1 billion in repatriated profits could escalate.

“The veneer of trust that the situation had calmed down seems to have fallen away on this news and the frustration continues,” said Kyle Burgess, portfolio manager at Nedbank Private Wealth.

Shares closed 4.01 percent lower at 83.80 rand.

Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett was down 3.49 percent at its close after it flagged an over 60 percent drop in earnings for the half year period ended 30 September.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Patricia Aruo Editing by Mark Heinrich

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