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UPDATE 1-South Africa rand slides on firmer greenback, stocks inch up

UPDATE 1-South Africa rand slides on firmer greenback, stocks inch up
From Reuters - December 7, 2017

* Naspers, Mediclinic gain

* Steinhoff extends losses (Updates levels, prices)

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 7 (Reuters) - South Africas rand fell more than one percent against the U.S. dollar on Thursday as the greenback rose, while stocks edged up slightly, despite another share plunge by Steinhoff International.

At 1543 GMT, the rand was 1.11 percent weaker at 13.6725 per dollar, after earlier hitting a session low of 13.6900.

Its more the dollar play than anything else, said TreasuryOne currency dealer Phillip Pearce.

The dollar hit a two-week high against a basket of currencies on Thursday on stronger risk appetite across markets and on optimism that the United States will successfully push through a tax reform programme.

South African investors are also wary ahead of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) leadership conference next week, where a successor to the current leader, President Jacob Zuma, will be crowned.

The rand had gained earlier this week on hopes that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa - who is seen as more investor friendly -will win the race to become the next leader of the ANC.

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