JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand and mining stocks strengthened on Wednesday as the dollar plunged on U.S. stimulus uncertainty, although AngloGold Ashanti fell more than 4 percent after saying it may retrench 8,500 workers.
Lonmin and Royal Bafokeng Platinum climbed 3.81 percent and 2.59 percent respectively as platinum rose 0.49 percent at $922.70 (720.07 pounds).
“We’ve seen the dollar for the greater part of the day coming off against most major currencies and that has given some of these resource stocks some relief,” Paul Chakaduka, a trader at Global Trader said.
AngloGold Ashanti fell 4.29 percent to 132.23 rand after it said it may lay off 30 percent of its workforce as part of restructuring programme.
The benchmark Top-40 index was up 0.48 percent at 45,504 points and the broader All-share index rose 0.32 percent to reach 51,596 points.
By 1515 GMT the rand had gained 0.36 percent to 12.9725 per dollar, dipping below the psychological 13.00 level as investors sold the greenback and bought emerging currencies.
Gold, seen as a safer alterative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty, was up 0.3 percent, helping lift the rand as South Africa is one of the world’s top exporters of the commodity.
The rand has see-sawed this week amid policy uncertainty ahead of the ruling African National Congress’s policy conference at the weekend, erasing most of the gains driven by an intense worldwide hunt for high-yield assets.
Bonds were weaker, with yields at a one-month highs. The yield on the benchmark 2026 government issue rose 4 basis points to 8.66 percent.
Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Olwethu Boso; Editing by Joe Brock