South African rand falls as commodity prices drop



JOHANNESBURG, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The South African rand weakened on Tuesday as precious metals prices fell and power utility Eskom extended scheduled power cuts because of a shortage of generation capacity.

At 1500 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 14.8400 against the dollar, 0.76% weaker than its previous close.

With the local economy remaining weak and facing power cuts, the rand had rallied on Monday mainly on the back of global factors, including higher commodity prices which benefit resource-rich South Africa.

But gold XAU= , platinum XPT= and palladium XPD= all fell back on Tuesday.

Eskom, which regularly enforces outages over faults at its coal-fired power stations that hold back economic growth in Africa's most industrialised nation, said it would extend rolling blackouts to Saturday.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 government bond ZAR2030= was down 4.5 basis points to 9.51%.

Stocks rose, led by technology stocks and companies that derive much of their income abroad and benefit from weakness in the local currency. Luxury goods maker Richemont CFRJ.J , Sibanye Stillwater SSWJ.J and tech investor Naspers NPNJn.J were the three biggest climbers on the Johannesburg Top-40 index .JTOPI , gaining 2.69%, 2.57% and 2.26% respectively.

The Johannesburg All-Share index .JALSH climbed 0.95% while the Top-40 rose 0.96%.

"The big thing is the rand that's weakening a bit that's good for commodities and as well as the earnings season in America that's given a boost to markets and that is overflowing into our markets as well," BP Bernstein portfolio manager Gerhard Parkin said.

A weaker rand helps mining companies who export gold in dollars.

Some stellar earnings reports have helped drive the Dow .DJI and the S&P 500 .SPX to record highs, lifting investor sentiment in October after concerns around inflation, the U.S. Fed's tapering and China Evergrande Group's crisis rattled markets last month.


Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Alison Williams

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