August 17, 2018 / 10:34 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-South Africa's rand slides as lira plunge triggers EM sell-off

(Updates rand and stocks)

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 17 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand weakened against the dollar on Friday, tracking its emerging market peers lower as the Turkish lira slid.

At 1519 GMT, the rand traded at 14.7700 per dollar, having recovered some losses from a session low of 15.0300.

Emerging market currencies were under fresh pressure on Friday, with Turkey’s lira falling 7 percent against the dollar despite central bank measures earlier in the week.

“The Turkish lira has been sold off quite aggressively and emerging markets are being put under a lot of pressure as a result,” said Andre Botha, currency trader at Treasury One.

The rand recovered some losses in early trade after being rattled overnight by news that the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters had introduced a bill to nationalise the central bank.

Nedbank analysts wrote in a note that the nationalisation debate was likely to keep the local unit on the back foot.

The rand’s weakness this week comes after concerns over South Africa’s economic outlook.

The yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 was up 0.6 basis points at 9.105 percent.

On the bourse, the All-Share index rose 0.24 percent to 56,698 points while the top 40 index was 0.27 percent higher at 50,641 points.

The market recovered in tandem with South Africa’s Naspers shares, which rose 1.08 percent to 3,180 rand, after weakening earlier this week when Internet giant Tencent Holdings posted its first profit decline in nearly 13 years.

Naspers holds a big stake in the Chinese group. On Friday, Tencent rebounded, rising 3.44 percent. (Reporting by Patricia Aruo; editing by Andrew Roche)

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