THE RAND firmed against the dollar yesterday as comments from ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) that it was not looking to downgrade South Africa’s banks added to earlier gains in the euro to prop up the rand. The rand was bid at R10.6676 to the dollar at 5pm, up 2.81c from the same time on Wednesday. The rand initially perked up as the euro recovered from 11-month lows against the dollar after better-than-expected German private sector growth data. Later S&P added to the positive sentiment, saying the banking sector was not at risk of systemic failure because of the fall of African Bank, two days after Moody’s downgraded the big four banks. – Reuters Page26