Rand steadies above R9

Johannesburg – The rand was little changed in early trade on Friday‚ trapped in a range between R9.00 and 9.08 to the US dollar since Thursday amid a lack of fresh catalysts.

At 8.39am‚ the rand was bid at R9.0479 to the US dollar from R9.0686 at Thursday’s close. The local currency was bid at R12.0910 to the euro from its previous close of R12.1190 and at R14.2644 against sterling from R14.3007 before.

Graphic: Renjith Krishnan.

The euro was bid at $1.3367‚ unchanged from Thursday’s close.

On the week‚ however‚ the local currency is much weaker across the board.

Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus noted on Thursday that rand weakness remained an upside risk to the inflation outlook.

But Absa Capital analysts said there was no evidence to suggest the central bank was ready to defend the currency either by means of direct policy action or by moral persuasion.

“Instead‚ the Reserve Bank appears hopeful that the rand is not in free-fall‚ while acknowledging that the rand performance over the coming months depends on the sustainability of portfolio inflows‚” the analysts said. - I-Net Bridge