September 11, 2018 / 4:02 PM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Manufacturing data lifts S.Africa rand, stocks track metal prices lower

* Rand rises as manufacturing data beats consensus

* Gold, platinum drag bourse into the red (Adds latest prices)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 11 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed on Tuesday as emerging market currencies broadly staged a rally against the dollar following a deep selloff, with investors seeing an opportunity to buy the currency cheap.

Stocks were weaker on continued worries about the domestic growth outlook and lower gold prices globally.

At 1400 GMT, the rand was 0.6 percent firmer at 15.1250 per dollar, a touch softer than the session-best 15.0100 it reached as London traders came online.

The rand was also boosted by better-than-expected manufacturing output data which showed a 2.9 percent year-on-year expansion in July. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 1.1 percent year-year-on-year increase.

Manufacturing contributes 13 percent of gross domestic product and 11 percent of employment and is seen as key to achieving the economic growth that will help the country reverse record-high unemployment and avoid deeper credit downgrades.

Government bonds were flat, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 rising 0.5 basis points to 9.215 percent.

On the stock market, the Top-40 index closed 0.99 percent to 50,042 points while the broader all-share fell 0.95 percent to 56,174 points.

Gold and platinum producer Sibanye-Stillwater fell 4.23 percent to 8.84 rand, Gold Fields weakened 4 percent to 33.09 rand while Impala Platinum fell 5.30 percent to 16.81 rand.

Gold and platinum prices came under pressure as risk-off sentiment hit equities globally, in what some analysts say is a rotation after the sharp risk-currency selloff.

The gold index fell 3.05 percent while the platinum index dropped 2.61 percent.

Further losses were curbed by Aspen Pharmacare which closed up 2.20 percent to 271.55 rand after the drug maker said it was in discussions to sell its global infant formula business. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Tanisha Heiberg Editing by James Macharia)

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