April 25, 2019 / 3:51 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand hovers near 4-week low, stocks down

(Updates prices, adds stocks)

JOHANNESBURG, April 25 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand turned flat in late afternoon trade on Thursday, but hovered near a four-week low hit earlier in the session on the back of a firmer dollar, while stocks fell.

At 1528 GMT, the rand stood at 14.4400 per dollar compared to Wednesday’s close of 14.4450.

It had slipped to 14.5550 earlier in the session, its weakest price since March 29, as upbeat U.S. data fed demand for the greenback.

South African-focused investors were keeping an eye on election news ahead of parliamentary and provincial polls on May 8.

“Opinion polls show that the governing African National Congress had a comfortable majority until early March. However, they also signal that there are many indecisive voters,” Commerzbank analyst Elisabeth Andreae said in a note.

“We therefore see a number of stumbling blocks in the race towards a clear mandate and as a result risks for the rand.”

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 10-year issue was up 2 basis points to 8.59 percent.

On the bourse, the broader All-Share index fell 0.5 percent to 58,807 points, and the blue chip Top-40 index also slipped 0.6 percent to 52,470.

Among the decliners were financials. Capitec shed 1.72 percent to 135.92 rand while Absa declined 1.28 percent to 158.19 rand. (Reporting by Onke Ngcuka; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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