* Rand seesaws but ends flat as risk-on fades
* Bourse inches up as Mediclinic closer to clinching Middle
(Adds latest prices, analyst quotes)
JOHANNESBURG, April 28 South Africa's rand was
flat late on Friday, moving in a narrow range for most of the
local session in low-volume trade ahead of a long weekend as
investors closed positions and booked profits, while stocks
ended higher lifted by hospital group Mediclinic.
At 1500 GMT the rand had edged 0.04 percent firmer
to 13.3575 per dollar, barely moved from its overnight close of
13.3775 overnight in New York.
The rand had started the day on the frontfoot, driven firmer
by some profit taking on the recent dollar rally and the
European Central Bank's decision to stick to its large-scale
bond buying binge, reaching a session best of 13.2300.
The unit then backtracked, however, as global risk-on
The unit was also barely affected by local data showing the
country's trade balance had jumped to a 11.4 billion rand
surplus in March on the back of higher exports, led by a 34
percent increase in commodity sales.
The rand briefly dipped below the psychologically crucial
13.00 mark earlier in the week but failed to build on that
momentum, slumping to a three-week trough instead as a firming
dollar and political uncertainties at home weighed.
"Generally the drivers next week will be external,
international developments, especially if we get any further
insight on the tax proposals in the U.S.," said Investec
economist Kamila Kaplan.
On the bourse, stocks edged higher on the day with
Mediclinic International in the spotlight as Abu Dhabi scrapped
a 20 percent co-payment requirement for treatment at private
Shares in Mediclinic, which are substantially tied
up in the Middle East takeover of Al Noor in 2015, jumped 13.3
percent to 141.02 rand, their biggest one-day gain in at least
City-state Abu Dhabi introduced the measure on its Thiqa
insurance programme last July, just after Mediclinic had bought
Abu Dhabi private hospital group Al Noor for about $2 billion.
"Mediclinic had greater exposure to this reform given a
greater focus on Thiqa patients, so it should see a greater
benefit, but we await details as to the expected impact at its
FY Results on 24 May," brokerage house Jefferies said in a note.
Overall, the benchmark JSE Top 40 index rose 0.19
percent to 47,071 and the broader All-share index added
0.25 percent to 53,817.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond
due in 2026 fell 2.5 basis point to 8.705 percent.
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Tiisetso Motsoeneng, editing
by Pritha Sarkar)