Johannesburg – The rand was range bound in early trade on Thursday ahead of the release of December foreign trade data at 14:00.
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.
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.
“We are range bound at the moment. We need to get back below R8.95 if we want to have a stronger tone. The foreign trade data will be a key determinant of how we enter February‚” a local trader said.
At 8:29‚ the rand was bid at R9.0351/$ from its Wednesday close of R9.0187. It touched R9.1258 on Tuesday before closing at R9.0208.
The local currency was bid at R12.2552/€ from its previous close of R12.2313 and at R14.2825 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.
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