November 4, 2019 / 2:09 AM / 15 days ago

South African rand rises as rating dodges junk status for now

SYDNEY, Nov 4 (Reuters) - The South African rand rose in thin Asian trading on Monday as investors were seemingly relieved that Moody’s had only downgraded the ratings outlook for the country’s debt and did not cut it to junk as some had feared.

The U.S. dollar was quoted down 1.2% on Reuters dealing at 14.8650 rand, paring some of the sharp gains it made last week.

Moody’s on Friday revised its outlook on South Africa’s ‘Baa3’ rating to negative, citing a deterioration in the economic growth outlook and rising debt.

Analysts had expected the move after a bleak mid-term budget statement last week that slashed this year’s growth forecast to 0.5% and showed government debt racing to more than 70% of gross domestic product by 2023. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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