* Rand scales session high
* Banks in demand on stock market
* Bond also firmer
(Adds stocks, updates prices)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 2 South African markets rose
across the board on Friday, after weaker than expected U.S. jobs
data reduced prospects of an imminent rate hike in the world's
largest economy, sending investors on the hunt for high-yielding
but riskier assets.
The rand scaled a session high of 14.3600 to the
greenback after the U.S. data, but retreated to 14.4600 by 1508
GMT. This was still up 0.97 percent from Thursday's close at
14.6015 in New York.
"It now seems less likely that there will be an interest
rate hike in September, so people will be looking for yield in
emerging markets," said Cratos Capital equities trader Greg
The rand is however still down 7 percent against the dollar
since Aug. 23, weighed down by fears that Finance Minister
Pravin Gordhan could be charged over the activities of a
surveillance unit set up when he was head of the tax department,
which police say illegally spied on politicians.
Government bonds also closed firmer, with the yield on debt
maturing in 2026, the market benchmark, shedding 6.5
basis points to 8.94 percent.
On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index gained
1.74 percent to 46,972 points while the All-Share index
advanced 1.65 percent to 53,500 points.
Banks were in demand, clawing back some of the losses
suffered this week due to the standoff between the Gordhan and
the elite police unit the Hawks.
Nedbank gained 4.69 percent to 211.48 rand,
Standard Bank strengthened 4.17 percent to 135.66 rand
and Capitec Bank Holdings rose 3.78 percent to 601.94
Trade was below average with around 264 million shares
changing hands, compared with last year's daily average of 296
million, according to preliminary bourse data.
(Reporting by Zimasa Mpemnyama and Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing
by Ed Stoddard)