South Africa’s rand slumps as Trump wins U.S. election

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s rand tumbled as much as four percent on Wednesday along with other emerging market currencies after investors were rattled by a shock win for Republican Donald Trump in the fiercely-contested U.S. election.

Trump scored a surprising win over Democrat Hillary Clinton, opening a path to the White House for the political outsider seen as a risk to global growth as he has pledged to renegotiate trade deals, impose high import tariffs and stirred fears of a currency war with China.

By 0945 GMT the rand had slumped 2.99 percent to 13.5850 per dollar after falling to session low of 13.8300, its weakest since Oct. 31.

“The question now is what will a Trump victory mean for the performance of SSA (sub-Saharan Africa) markets. Near-term in any risk off environment, the ZAR (rand) is likely to be most impacted,” said Razia Khan, chief economist, Africa at Standard Chartered bank.

“As the market focus gradually shifts to the kind of policy we are likely to see, and the implications of a Republican Congress and Presidency both in favour of further fiscal stimulus, there are likely to be more meaningful implications for SSA markets.”

Government bonds weakened alongside the currency, and the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 was up 12.5 basis points to 8.785 percent.

The stock market opened lower, down more than 2 percent before recovering slightly. At 0957 GMT, the Top-40 index was up by 0.31 percent, while the broader all-share rose by 0.21 percent.


(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by James Macharia)


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