Johannesburg - The rand firmed slightly on Thursday,
recovering from data the previous day showing the country’s trade deficit had
widened due to lower mining exports.
The rand traded at R8.6620 to the dollar at 06:36 GMT,
firmer than Wednesday’s New York close of R8.6700.
“We will look at international factors again to give us
direction, but it is holding up decently,” said Ion de Vleeschauwer, a trader
at Bidvest Bank in Johannesburg.
The currency had weakened in the previous session after
South Africa recorded its biggest monthly trade deficit in more than three
years. The deficit widened to R13.8bn in September after a R12.2bn shortfall in
Wildcat mining strikes have paralysed major parts of the
platinum and gold sectors since August. Most of the strikes have ended but the
labour unrest has already cost the economy more than $1bn this year, the
Government bonds were flat with yields on the 3-year and the
14-year paper both adding half a basis points to 5.48% and 7.735% respectively.