Johannesburg - The rand weakened slightly against the US dollar just before noon on Friday as fears over the looming fiscal cliff in the US triggered safe-haven purchasing of dollars.
"There is still uncertainty over the fiscal cliff in the US‚ as leaders have hinted that there is no clear-cut agreement at the moment. If a deal is not struck the US could face a downgrade and thus fall into recession‚" Vunani Private Clients global market analyst Kuziva Muganiwa said.
At 11.39am‚ the rand was bid at R8.5035 to the US dollar from its close of R8.4778 on Thursday. The local currency was bid at R11.2098 to the euro from its previous close of R11.2293 and at R13.6809 against sterling from R13.6571 before.
The euro was bid at $1.3185 from its overnight close of $1.3247.
"The benchmark bonds have not been supported by liquidity and thus have not moved by much; this has not helped the local currency‚" Muganiwa said.
11.39am Bids Range so far Previous Close
Dollar/rand 8.5035 8.4680 - 8.5112 8.4778
Euro/rand 11.2098 11.1953 - 11.2693 11.2293
Sterling/rand 13.6809 13.6468 - 13.7072 13.6571
Euro/dollar 1.3185 1.3177 - 1.3257 1.3247