May 13, 2019 / 4:56 PM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 1-S.African rand, stocks fall as U.S.-China trade war dents risk appetite

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JOHANNESBURG, May 13 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand weakened on Monday, shedding election- inspired gains, as an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war dented emerging market currencies, while stocks also retreated.

At 1600 GMT, the rand traded at 14.36 to the dollar, 1.32 percent weaker than its New York close on Friday.

South African markets had clocked up gains following last week’s parliamentary election in which the governing African National Congress (ANC) comfortably won re-election.

But the ANC’s share of the vote fell amid anger over corruption scandals and racial inequalities and this may force President Cyril Ramaphosa to compromise on economic reforms that investors and economists say the country sorely needs.

External factors also took their toll on South African assets. Investors are shying away from emerging economies as the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies, slap tariffs on each other’s exports.

“This volatility, for the short term anyway, in the next few days, possibly even a week, is going to play out and we’re going to see these wild erratic moves in the marketplace until they (Washington and Beijing) finalise some sort of deal,” said Ryan Woods, a trader at Independent Securities.

In South Africa’s fixed income market, the yield on the benchmark bond due in 2026 rose 6.5 basis points to 8.525 percent.

The broader All-Share index fell 0.72 percent to 56,374 points, while blue chips on the Top-40 index declined 0.7 percent to 50,181 points.

Netcare fell 3.27 percent to 22.48 rand after a warning that profitability at its biggest division - hospital and emergency services - would slip this year. The firm reported a 1.3 percent rise in half-year core profit

Old Mutual led financials lower, shedding 2.41 percent to 22.70 rand, while Discovery was 1.93 percent lower at 146.78 rand. (Reporting by Onke Ngcuka Editing by Gareth Jones)

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