Naspers inquiry drags South African stocks lower, rand steady

There was also weakness in the bullion sector with Gold Fields down 5.48% at R53.11 and Sibanye 6.42% lower at R16.75 pressured by a weaker rand and slipping spot gold prices

Naspers inquiry drags SA stocks lower, rand steady

"The currency and South African government bonds have been on a good run over the last week on easing political risk, and this remains the key driver", said Christopher Shiells, an analyst at Informa Global Markets in London.

Stocks were set to open lower at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange's benchmark Top-40 futures index down 0.9 percent.

Naspers came under pressure after weakness in Chinese internet company Tencent and extended losses to close down 3 percent at 3,520 rand after a US law firm launched an inquiry on behalf of shareholders into whether it engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful businesses practices.

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Meanwile, the rand traded at 13.5100 per dollar at 1517 GMT, compared to a close of 13.5225 overnight in NY.

A currency trader said the rand was supported by better-than-expected third-quarter economic growth data, but he said importers buying foreign currency was a drag.

It's a sign that investors don't care so much for economics right now as they do for politics, focusing more on the ruling African National Congress's December 16-20 conference, when it will choose a new party leader to replace President Jacob Zuma.

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But it is far from certain that Ramaphosa will secure victory. "There could be volatility in the rand should it disappoint".

Government bonds were firmer in early trade, with the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 down 5 basis points to 9.185 percent.

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