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JOHANNESBURG - The rand’s woes continued yesterday with the domestic currency trading within a R12.68-R12.99 range to the dollar, its weakest in five months, still reeling from the detrimental economic data released earlier this week.

TearsuryONE senior currency dealer, Andre Botha, said the rand was staring down the barrel and was set to break above the R12.90 level yesterday.

“The rally was halted by a stronger euro as news emanating from the eurozone that the ECB (European Central Bank) was looking at tapering their quantitative easing at the next meeting. The risk that the lousy gross domestic product number brings forth is that every release from now on will be combed over and has the potential to be market moving,” said Botha.

At 5pm yesterday, the rand was 21cents weaker than Wednesday’s same time bid at R12.92 to the greenback. Against the pound, the rand was 26c weaker at R17.33 and to the euro, the domestic currency gave up 30c to R15.28.

Corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions, Bianca Botes, noted that the euro reached a 10-day high on Wednesday after comments from the ECB that by end of this year it might end its stimulatory bond buying.

“Thursdays are known for forex market volatility caused by the jobless claims from the US later in the afternoon,” she said.

Meanwhile, JSE stocks had a fairly good day with the blue chip Top40 index increasing 0.58percent to 52037.69 points, while the broader all share index ticked up 0.53percent to 58391.64 points.

The biggest gainers among bourse heavyweights were Kumba Iron Ore, which increased 5.7percent to R317, followed by Sasol, which was 2.5percent higher at R492. Mondi Plc advanced 2.35percent to R365.47, while Investec Plc ticked up 1.93percent to R98.78 and BHP Billiton scored 1.68percent growth to close at R306.35.

Leading losses among the large caps were Sanlam, which declined 3.71percent to R72.70, followed by Discovery, which was 2.75percent lower at R147.34.

Mediclinic International dropped 2.71percent to R96.91, while Barclays Africa Group retreated 1.5percent to R162.51 and Standard Bank gave up 1.25percent to end the day at R206.40.

Nedbank inched lower, falling 0.83percent to R273.41.

- BUSINESS REPORT