Rand little changed in quiet day

2012-04-20 18:39

Johannesburg - The rand was little changed against the dollar in quiet afternoon trade on Friday. Dealers said positions were squared ahead of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Washington over the weekend.

"Nothing much happened today as the market is still digesting the major move on Tuesday," a local trader said.

At 18:30 local time the rand was bid at R7.8057 to the dollar from its previous close of R7.8399 and Monday's close of R7.9368. It was bid at R10.3115 to the euro from R10.3112 before, and at R12.5863 against sterling from R12.5979 previously.

The euro was bid at $1.3213 from its previous close of $1.3142 after sinking to a two-month low of $1.2993 on Monday.

News emerged from Citigroup on Tuesday that SA government bonds were entering a monitoring period for inclusion in their World Government Bond Index (WGBI) in October. This saw the rand and local bonds rally significantly, with the currency appreciating 16 cents to 7.82/dollar after the announcement and the bond curve strengthening 21 basis points in the benchmark R157, 25 basis points in the R186 and 27 basis points at the very long end.

The rand bounced off the R7.78 per dollar level resistance level on Wednesday after the JSE released data showing that foreigners bought a net R7.79bn of South African bonds including repo transactions on Tuesday. This was more than a third of the year to date buying of R22.337bn of local bonds including repo transactions. In 2011 they bought R37.501bn of local bonds.