Johannesburg – The rand lost ground against major currencies in late trade after the release of disappointing domestic trade data‚ wiping off all its gains of the week.
At 15:41‚ the rand was bid at R8.8720/$ from Thursday’s close of R8.7842. The local currency was bid at R11.5054 to the euro from its previous close of R11.3883 and at R14.1817 against sterling from R14.0771 before.
The euro was bid at $1.2971‚ unchanged from its previous close.
A weaker rand boosts SA’s competitiveness and dollar earnings‚ but it may spur inflation at a time when the economy is slowing down.
The deficit on SA’s trade account continued to deteriorate in October‚ with the account recording its 10th consecutive deficit for trade with non-Southern African Customs Union trading partners.
A R21.2bn deficit was recorded in October‚ following a R13.8bn deficit in September‚ SARS customs and excise figures released on Friday showed.