UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand extends gains on weak dollar, stocks down
* •Rand strengthens against weak greenback
* •Gold shares weak
* •Rand hedge shares under pressure as stocks fall (Adds closing prices, detail, analyst comment)
JOHANNESBURG, April 20 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand extended gains against the dollar on Thursday and government bonds firmed, helped by slowing inflation and the government's rejection of nationalisation of mines and banks.
Stocks were little changed, as rand hedges and gold shares fell.
At 1500 GMT, the rand had gained 0.79 percent to 13.1725 per dollar, its firmest since March 31, compared to a close of 13.2775 overnight in New York.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 12 basis points to 8.670 percent.
"The investment community's view is that inflation is falling sharper than what the Reserve Bank currently anticipates and the country's real rate story later this year is going to look a lot more compelling than what it does at the moment, therefore the support for government bonds remains," said BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities Jeffrey Schultz.
Statistics South Africa's data showed on Wednesday consumer inflation eased in March and Finance Minster Malusi Gigaba dismissed calls from one of his own advisers for the nationalisation of banks and mines. Continued...