The rand strengthened on Monday morning as traders were boosted by better than expected global data.

“Friday’s better than expected US employment report‚ when combined with yesterday’s encouraging Chinese manufacturing data‚ bodes well for global growth. But risky assets are struggling to rally in the wake of the data‚ because Italian President Mario Monti threatened to resign at the weekend and this morning’s export data out of China was softer than expected‚” Absa Capital said in a note on Monday.

At 8.31am‚ the rand was bid at R8.6550 to the US dollar from Friday’s close of R8.6708. The local currency was bid at R11.1703 to the euro from its previous close of R11.1804 and at R13.8606 against sterling from R13.8357 before.

The euro was bid at $1.2906 from Friday’s close of $1.2907.

“Risk this week comes from both events and data. The highlight of the week is the Fed meeting on Wednesday. The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to roll the expiring Operation Twist into the ongoing QE3 (third round of quantitative easing) programme‚ implying accelerated monetary creation‚ but it’s well anticipated from the market‚” RMB said in a note. - I-Net Bridge