Rand ignores GDP data

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IOL world currency1 Graphic: Renjith Krishnan.

The rand was range bound in midday trade on Tuesday as the local GDP data had little impact on the market.

Analysts predicted the rand would continue to take its cue from the euro as the second Greek election draws nearer.

SA's real GDP at market prices on a quarter-on-quarter (q/q) seasonally adjusted annualised (saa) basis rose by 2.7% in the first quarter of 2012 from an unchanged 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2011, Statistics SA data showed on Tuesday.

“The rand has been range bound. There is the potential for a pull back though,” a local trader said.

At 11:59 the rand was bid at R8.3484 to the dollar from Monday’s close of 8.3375.

It was bid at R10.4597 to the euro from Monday’s close of R10.4547 and at R13.0814 against sterling from R13.0726 at Monday’s close.

The euro was bid at US$1.2534 from Monday’s close of $1.2538.

Meanwhile, Dow Jones News Wire reported that demand for the European Central Bank's unlimited one-week credit rose on Tuesday to its highest level since the end of April but still remained relatively low, a sign that eurozone banks' liquidity needs were rising but were still far from the amounts seen prior to the ECB's massive three-year loans.

The ECB allotted EUR51.176 billion in seven-day funds at its weekly main refinancing operation at a fixed rate of 1%, up from EUR37.852 billion allotted at last week's tender. Last week's amount was the second lowest since early March.

The number of bidders at the weekly operation was 87, up from 84 a week earlier.

Demand for the weekly loans returned this week to the levels recorded in April.

The ECB injected over EUR500 billion into the banking sector at its second offer of its longest-ever, three-year loans at the end of February and many banks transferred their weekly borrowing needs into the three-year window, resulting in a drop in weekly demand.

Before the ECB's first offer of its three-year loan in December, demand for the weekly loan hit a 2011 high of EUR291.63 billion for the operation settled on December 14.

Tuesday's allotment was by a large margin exceeded by the ECB's benchmark allotment of -EUR846.0 billion, or the ECB's estimate of liquidity which banks need to conduct routine operations. The negative benchmark allotment means that banks have more liquidity than they require. - I-Net Bridge


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