March 13, 2020 / 3:03 PM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand recovers as stimulus spurs risk buying

(Adds latest prices, analyst comments)

JOHANNESBURG, March 13 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand rallied on Friday afternoon as the flush of liquidity pumped into markets by central banks overseas spurred flows back into emerging currencies after the coronavirus sell-off.

At 1430 GMT, the rand was 2.06% firmer at 16.2300 per dollar, reversing almost all of the previous session’s losses on the back of the stimulus from the Japanese, European and U.S. central banks.

“The rand has been very liquid in the last few sessions. The levels to watch on the downside are around 15.75, 15.80 and on the topside 16.60, 16.70 is the main resistance. If it closes above 15.80 you could see the weakness return next week,” said senior FX trader at Standard Bank Oliver Alwar.

Bonds remained on the ropes, with the yield on the government issue in 2030 soaring 16 basis points to 9.995%.

Local stocks recovered slightly after recording their worst single-day fall in more than 22 years in the previous session.

The Johannesburg All-Share index was up 0.59% while the Top-40 index rose 0.86%.

Shares in South African petrochemicals group Sasol surged nearly 30% on Friday, boosted by a recovery in oil prices. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Aditya Soni and Andrew Heavens)

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