Rand weaker ahead of US jobs data
Johannesburg - South Africa's rand eased against the dollar in Friday morning trade but should be largely rangebound ahead of US jobs data that should give further clues on growth in the world's largest economy.
At 09:00 the rand traded at R6.8195 against the greenback, down 0.43% from Thursday's close at R6.7900.
"(The rand is) pretty much where you would have expected it with the euro move, the euro has weakened again overnight ... we will most probably settle in to some type of a range of 6.75-6.84," Jim Bryson, a trader at Rand Merchant Bank said.
"Then we will take our direction from the dollar after US non-farm payrolls. That is the big figure out today. It will give the dollar direction, and we will follow that," he added.
The rand did not move after data showing South Africa's net gold and foreign exchange reserves crept higher to $43.353bn at the end of December from $43.08bn in November.
The Reserve Bank tried with little success to stem rand strength in 2010 by quickening its pace of foreign currency reserves accumulation.
On Friday stocks opened slightly lower, with the JSE Top-40 index of blue chips down 0.34% at 28 512.66 while the broader All-share index dipped 0.24% to 32 038.19.
Government bonds fell, with the yield on the benchmark 2015 bond (ZAR157) edging up to 7.275% from 7.24% overnight, while that on the 2026 note (ZAR186) was at 8.25% from 8.215%.