Rand and bonds fall further as South Africa worries continue

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South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan is still in his position (for now), but investors are taking little comfort as the rand and government bonds continue to slide.

The rand suffered its worst day since the US election on Monday after President Jacob Zuma ordered the internationally-respected finance minister to return home from an investor roadshow, prompting speculation of a cabinet reshuffle.

It dropped further on Tuesday after reports that Mr Zuma had discussed his intention to sack Mr Gordhan with members of the allied South African Communist Party.

There has been no official comment since Mr Gordhan returned to the country yesterday, and observers are not expecting to hear any further news ahead of the high-profile funeral of resistance veteran Ahmed Kathrada today, but worries about Mr Zuma’s plans are showing no signs of going away.

The rand was by far the worst-performing emerging market currency on Wednesday morning, falling another 0.83 per cent by publication time to 13.1000 per dollar.

South Africa’s benchmark 10-year government bonds also took another hit, with yields – which rise when prices fall – climbing a further 11.1 basis points (0.111 percentage points) to 8.819 per cent.

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