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Rand gains as Amplats workers resume duty

Jan 17 2013 09:29 Reuters
Rands

(File) (Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - South Africa's rand was slightly firmer against the dollar on Thursday, a day after miners at Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] called off a strike at the world's top platinum producer.

But the currency is likely oscillate in a tight band, hemmed in by the strengthening greenback.

The rand has been on the back foot most of this year because of labour unrest in the mining and farming sectors and a ratings downgrade by Fitch. 

At 08:57, the rand was trading at 8.7821, slightly stronger than New York's 8.8020 close on Wednesday. Traders see the rand boxed in a 8.77 and 8.82 range.

"The situation remains fluid and another probe to the upside is anticipated," Tradition Analytics said in a note. 

"Should this fail for a second consecutive trading session it might be an indication that the short term risks are now fully factored into the price of the rand and that a small correction is in order," Tradition Analytics said.

"Amplats miners have returned to work, ending an illegal walkout to protest mining group's plan to cut 14 000 jobs", a company spokesperson said.

Bond yields fell further on Thursday after better-than-expected retail sales boosted sentiment. The two-year bond shed 1 basis point to 5.315% and the 13-year paper lost 3 basis points at 08:45 to 7.13%.

Reuters Econometer for December will be published on Thursday. In November, the monthly poll rose to 261.22 from 259.66 in the previous month.

The Econometer, a confidence gauge based on six weighted indicators that looks two years ahead, last month showed South Africa's economic growth was likely to remain subdued this year due to the effects of labour unrest and a weak global economy.

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