April 16, 2018 / 4:39 PM / 8 days ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's rand firmer on lower risk aversion; stocks up

* Rand inches firmer on subdued trade globally

* Stocks lifted led by banks, resources wilt (Adds latest prices)

JOHANNESBURG, April 16 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand inched firmer on Monday on subdued trade as weak retail sales from the United States and nervousness globally over Western missiles fired at Syria at the weekend kept investors on the sidelines.

Stocks rose led by banks.

At 1632 GMT the rand was 0.12 percent firmer at 12.0650 per dollar compared to 12.0800 close on Friday in New York. The rand has traded in a narrow range over the last few sessions, breaching the 12 rand per dollar mark briefly last week before worries of trade global war and mixed economic data from China reawakened risk-off sentiment.

On Monday, U.S. retail sales in March rose following three months of declines but failed to dispel some traders’ worries about economic growth cooling, hobbling the dollar.

Emerging market currencies were also aided by firmer metal prices, with spot gold up 0.3 percent at $1,346.91 an ounce and platinum rising 0.7 percent to $934.

In fixed income, government bonds were flat, with the yield on the benchmark instrument due in 2026 at 8.085 percent.

On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index gained 0.48 percent to 50,121 points while the All-Share index rose 0.3 percent to 56,733 points.

FirstRand rose 1.73 percent to 67 rand, while resources suffered due to the stronger rand.

On the downside, one of the biggest decliners was Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd fell 7.16 percent to 21.66 rand

AngloGold Ashanti, Africa’s largest gold producer, closed 1.5 percent lower at 111.65 rand, after the firm announced that its CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan would take the top job at mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources Plc (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Nomvelo Chalumbira)

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