Johannesburg – The rand was firmer in midday trade on Thursday on short covering ahead of the release of December foreign trade data at 14:00.
“We have seen some short covering this morning‚ which is surprising given that the foreign trade data only comes out this afternoon‚” a local trader said.
At 11:51‚ the rand was bid at R8.9811/$ from its Wednesday close of R9.0187. It touched R9.1258 on Tuesday.
The local currency was bid at R12.1722/€ from its previous close of R12.2313 and at R14.2043 against sterling from R14.2361 before. The euro was bid at $1.3562 from Wednesday’s close of $1.3568 and Tuesday’s close of $1.3486.
SA’s foreign trade balance with its non-Southern African Customs Union (non-Sacu) trading partners is expected to have recorded a R3.1bn deficit in December from a R7.9bn deficit in November‚ according to leading economists surveyed by I-Net Bridge.
Forecasts among seven economists ranged from a deficit of R7bn to a surplus of R3.7bn.
SA reached a record deficit of R21.2bn in October as exports came under pressure last year due to depressed global demand.
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