By Etimes

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange extended gains on Wednesday as government shots down claims that it is considering introducing another strong currency.

The local currency is currently trading at 99.93 to the US dollar on the official market, but is quoted at 180x against the US dollar on the black market.

Industrialists say the continued depreciation of the Zimbabwean dollar poses a threat to business performance.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a cabinet brief that the local currency remains ZWL$ and not cryptocurrency.

“Like most countries in the world, the Government of Zimbabwe through its Financial Technology (FINTECH) Group, is studying Central Banking Digital Currency (CBDC) as opposed to cryptocurrencies, bitcoins or any form of derivatives,” she said.

Apart from the currency conundrum, the country is now faced with unemployment rate challenges which is now estimated at 18% using the strict definition and expanded unemployment rate was estimated at 47% in the Q3 2021 Labour Force Survey.

At close of trades, the All Share Index closed 2.02% higher at 12,273.97 points. Gains in Meikles, Hippo and Innscor saw the Top 10 Index close 3.11% higher to 7,921.91 points.

Meikles was up 11.95% to ZWL$239.4856 leaving its year to date gain at 841.97%. Agro processor Hippo was up 6.81% to ZWL$349.9994. Conglomerate Innscor climbed 6.39% to ZWL$192.7909.

Conversely, retailer Simbisa lost 2.69% to settle at ZWL$97.3043.

The Medium Cap Index dropped 0.81% to ZWL$22,010.75.

FMP led the top fallers with a 13.64% decline to close at ZWL$9.5001. Hospitality group RTG, followed slumping 13.01% to ZWL$4.8714. Brick maker Willdale fell 5.53% to ZWL$3.2073. Property firm Mash Holdings eased 4.31% to ZWL$4.1097 and completed the top five losers set.

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Bucking the trend, ZHL led top gainers with a 18.33% rise to settle at ZWL$3.9780. Farming implements manufacturer Zimplow added 7.79% to ZWL$24.2667.

The Small Cap Index recovered 2.86% to 382,700.17 points. General Beltings added 11.12% to ZWL$2.0000. Penny stock Medtech gained 10.91% to ZWL$24.2667.

Also, on the downside was Unifreight which eased 5.41% to ZWL$35.0000. Turnover stood at ZWL$272.85 million after 8.6 million shares traded-HARARE

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