Johannesburg – The rand was firmer in midday trade on Thursday on short covering ahead of the release of December foreign trade data at 2pm.
“We have seen some short covering this morning‚ which is surprising given that the foreign trade data only comes out this afternoon‚” a local trader said.
At 11.51am‚ the rand was bid at R8.9811 to the US dollar from its Wednesday close of R9.0187. It touched R9.1258 on Tuesday. The local currency was bid at R12.1722 to the euro from its previous close of R12.2313 and at R14.2043 against sterling from R14.2361 before. The euro was bid at $1.3562 from Wednesday’s close of $1.3568 and Tuesday’s close of $1.3486.
SA’s foreign trade balance with its non-Southern African Customs Union (non-Sacu) trading partners is expected to have recorded a R3.1bn deficit in December from a R7.9bn deficit in November‚ according to leading economists surveyed by I-Net Bridge.
Forecasts among seven economists ranged from a deficit of R7bn to a surplus of R3.7bn.
SA reached a record deficit of R21.2bn in October as exports came under pressure last year due to depressed global demand. - I-Net Bridge