Johannesburg – The rand was trading firmer at noon on Friday due to a stronger euro‚ albeit in quiet trade with participants squaring off positions ahead of the long weekend.
At 11:54 local time‚ the rand was bid at R8.2629 to the dollar from R8.30 at Thursday’s close. It was bid at R10.7594 to the euro from its previous close of R10.7681 and at R13.4478 against sterling from R13.4598 before.
The euro was bid at $1.3021 from $1.2970 at Thursday’s close.
“The rand was buoyed yesterday after Governor of the Reserve Bank Gill Marcus kept interest rates on hold‚ which is good for the rand‚” said Mark Kalkwarf‚ senior portfolio manager at the Iquad Group.
Monday is Heritage Day and SA markets are closed.
Rand Merchant Bank said global data remained weak.
“Eurozone PMI dropped again in September‚ suggesting that third quarter GDP growth will be the weakest since the crisis and confounding hopes that the economy is bottoming. This follows similarly disappointing figures from China. US numbers have at least been more mixed‚” the bank said in a note.
“Today's Financial Times reports that a eurozone programme is being finalised for Spain and will be formally announced next Thursday‚” it said.
“Global equities recovered nicely overnight‚ boosted by tech shares on reports that the iPhone 5 is selling well. The equity story in turn has fed into currencies so believe it or not your cellphone choice is now impacting the rand. The dollar continues to recover from its QE3 fall‚” it added.
“The Brazilian finance minister is again talking about ’currency wars’‚ arguing that QE3 will generate massive flows into emerging markets.