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Coronavirus
VERY HIGH
Pakistan Deaths
15,501
5824hr
Pakistan Cases
725,602
458424hr
Sindh
269,126
Punjab
250,459
Balochistan
20,321
Islamabad
66,380
KPK
99,595

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand firmed modestly and stocks rose on Thursday, shaking off worries about local growth and trade tensions abroad as investors bet on economic reform with President Cyril Ramaphosa preparing to name a new cabinet.

At 1430 GMT, the rand was 0.1 percent firmer at 14.2000 per dollar, following a soft start that saw the currency well above 14.2500 before offshore interest helped it stabilise.

Ramaphosa told investors on Wednesday he would act quickly on economic reforms after his ruling African National Congress (ANC) was returned to power in last week's elections.

He is due to announce a new cabinet on May 27.

There are growing signs the economy is set for a first quarter contraction with recent data showing the mining sector continued to slide while growth in the manufacturing and retail sectors remained modest.

Bonds weakened, with the benchmark 10-year yield adding 2.5 basis points to 8.445 percent.

Stocks strengthened, helped by gains in financial services group Investec.

The broader All-Share index gained 0.88 percent to 56,538 points, while the Top-40 index strengthened 0.97 percent to 50,360 points.

Investec rose 3.66 percent to 92.37 rand, after a rise in annual earnings showed its resilience in the face of a weak South African economy and Brexit.

Copyright Reuters, 2019