The rand extended its gains against the dollar into the afternoon, reaching an intraday best level of R13.51 in reaction to the National Prosecuting Authority’s withdrawing its charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. The gains were expected as speculation mounted that the fraud charges against the minister and his co-accused would be dropped. At 3.31pm, the rand was at R13.5548 to the dollar from Friday’s R13.8143. It was at R14.8417 to the euro from R15.1759, and R16.4808 to the pound from R16.8334. The euro was at $1.0949, from $1.0986. Investec economist Annabel Bishop said the uptick in the rand from the middle of last week had suggested that the charges would be dropped. "Essentially, markets were relieved that Pravin Gordhan remained in position to deliver [the medium-term budget policy statement]," said Bishop. TreasuryOne currency dealer Andre Botha said the rand was rising to the levels it traded at before "the whole Pravin Gordhan saga began". "On the whole, the e...

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