Johannesburg – The rand eased a fraction in afternoon play on Friday in what a trader described as an "uninteresting day" ahead of the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup in Soweto.
At 15:21 the rand was bid at 7.7503 to the dollar from 7.6862 at its previous close. It was bid at 9.3745 to the euro from its previous close of 9.3010 and was at 11.2916 against sterling from 11.3000.
The euro was bid at US$1.2090 from $1.2100 overnight.
A local trader said: "It been an uninteresting day, for obvious reasons. Orders are going through, but there is no real interest."
Dow Jones Newswires reports that the euro fell against the dollar Friday after disappointing US retail sales figures cast some doubt over the pace of the US recovery, leading investors to take a modest step away from riskier assets.
The unexpected drop in US retail sales countered the week's global data, which showed the economies of China and Australia steaming ahead.
The positive global data might help buffer the losses of riskier currencies, including those of the euro, on the heels of the US retail sales report, said Nick Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo in
The euro initially slipped below $1.21 after the disappointing US data, but recovered most of its losses to trade only modestly down against the dollar, slipping about 0.1%.
"I don't think it changes the prospects of global recovery just yet," Bennenbroek said of the disappointing retail sales figures.
Retail sales tumbled 1.2%, the US commerce department said on Friday.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires were expecting a 0.2% increase.
The decline was the biggest - and the first - since September 2009, when sales fell 2.2%.
- I-Net Bridge