South African rand gains after Ramaphosa announces new cabinet


JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's rand strengthened in early trade on Monday after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new coalition cabinet, appointing the leader of the former opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) as agriculture minister.

South African rand gains after new cabinet
South African Rand coins are seen in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/Illustration

At 0737 GMT, the rand traded at 18.0150 against the dollar, 1% stronger than its previous close.

After weeks of intense deliberations, Ramaphosa named DA leader John Steenhuisen as part of his cabinet line-up on Sunday, bringing the party and other coalition members into his new government team.

There will be a palpable sense of relief that Mr Ramaphosa has finally named his executive following protracted and often terse negotiations with his new coalition partners," Oxford Economics said in a research note.

Ramaphosa's African National Congress (ANC) lost its majority for the first time in three decades in a May 29 election and has formed a unity government with former rivals as a way to stay in power.

The new 32-member cabinet includes ministers from seven different parties.

Domestic investor focus will be on a monthly purchasing managers' index (PMI) survey for the local manufacturing sector by Absa and vehicle sales figures, both due to be released later on Monday.

On the stock market, the Top-40 (.JTOPI), opens new tab index was up 0.5% while the broader all-share (.JALSH), opens new tab traded 0.8% higher in early trade.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger, with the yield down 14.5 basis points to 9.840%.

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