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Rand firms as Amplats delays job cuts

Jan 29 2013 09:17 Reuters

(Picture: Shutterstock )

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Johannesburg - The rand firmed slightly against the dollar on Tuesday, helped by news that Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] would postpone planned job cuts that drew the ire of the government.

The rand, which hit a new 4-year low of R9.15 against the dollar on Monday, was at R9.0850 at 06:45 GMT, 0.2% stronger than Monday's New York close.

South Africa's minerals department said late on Monday the government, labour unions and Amplats had agreed to postpone a restructuring plan that could lead to 14 000 job cuts to allow for more talks.

Chris Griffiths, chief executive of Amplats, the world's largest platinum producer, said on Tuesday that consultations with the South African government had been "constructive."

"The rand is a little bit stronger on the back of the Amplats announcement last night," said Warrick Butler, a trader at Standard Bank.

Butler added foreign participation in the bond market was likely to influence the rand this week.

"As far as the way forward, a lot will depend on the bond market's performance, which really was the main driver yesterday," he said.

The rand's weakness "was more a result of investors getting out of some of their long bond positions of which there are an abundance."

Government bonds were weaker, with the yield on the 2026 bond gaining 3.5 basis points to 7.485% and that on the 2015 issue 2 basis points higher at 5.45%.

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anglo platinum  |  bonds  |  rand  |  markets

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