Johannesburg – The rand was boosted by a jump in the November purchasing managers’ index (PMI) to 49.5 from 47.1 in October.
“Markets are thin as we are in the final month of the year with some people already off on holiday‚ so that means moves tend to be exaggerated on both the up and the downside. The expected bounce due to the recovery in the PMI did not happen immediately‚ but it came through with a lag‚” a local trader said.
At 11:40‚ the rand was bid at R8.8562/$ from Friday’s close of R8.8909. The local currency was bid at R11.5470/€ from its previous close of R11.5449 and at R14.2120/£ from R14.2255 before.
The euro was bid at $1.3042 from $1.2996 at its previous close.
The PMI is a key leading indicator for activity in the manufacturing sector and is conducted on a monthly basis by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
An index level of below 50 represents contraction in the manufacturing sector‚ while a reading of more than 50 signifies expansion in activity.
The BER noted that while the PMI improved last month‚ it remained below 50 for the third consecutive month.
On a more positive note‚ the employment index broke through the 50-point mark to reach 52‚ its highest level this year.
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