A five rand coin. Picture: REUTERS
A five rand coin. Picture: REUTERS

The rand, government bonds and retail shares on the JSE all firmed on Wednesday afternoon after finance minister Tito Mboweni promised to slash the public-sector wage bill.

In what it described as “a major step towards fiscal sustainability”, the government proposed cutting expenditure over the next three years by R156.1bn compared with its 2019 projections.

The local currency had been 0.5% weaker shortly before Mboweni began speaking, but by 3.21pm had reversed course to be 0.79% firmer at R15.0934/$.

The generic 10-year government bond also firmed, with the yield falling 13 basis points to 8.70%, its best level in about seven months.

The local currency was also 0.80% firmer at R16.4159/€ and 1.21% stronger at R19.5215/£.

The general retailers index on the JSE leapt 4.23%, its biggest one-day rise in more than four months, while the food and drug gauge rose 3%.

tsobol@businesslive.co.za

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