Johannesburg - The rand was firm against the US dollar in midday trade on Friday‚ as dealers waited for the key economic data point of the March US nonfarm payrolls at 14:30.
“We have been firmer this morning‚ but there is event risk at 14:30pm when the US jobs data is released‚” a local foreign exchange dealer said.
At 12:10, the rand was bid at R9.1499/$ from R9.1640 at Thursday’s close and R9.2187 at Wednesday’s close.
The local currency was bid at R11.8385/ from its previous close of R11.8482 and at R13.9402 against sterling from R13.9509 before.
The euro was bid at $1.2935 from $1.2926 at Thursday’s close and $1.2845 at Wednesday’s close.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that foreign exchange markets settled into their usual pre-nonfarm payrolls lull after some wild action seen in Asia Friday. The collapse in Japanese government bond yields sent the yen spiraling lower‚ before both reversed course‚ leaving the dollar little changed from late New York's Y96.35 level.
The euro spiked higher versus the yen‚ less so against the dollar‚ but all held in a pretty tight range since the European open. Elsewhere eurozone peripheral bond yields were easier‚ as the market went on a “yield grab” after the Bank of Japan aggressive easing and ECB President Draghi's dovish performance on Thursday.
Market participants were waiting for the US nonfarm payrolls report with the consensus forecast in a Dow Jones poll at 200‚000. A London trader noted that a slight disappointment was already in the price given the weak ADP and jobless claims this week.
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