Graphic: renjith krishnan

The rand’s overall firmer trend of the past couple of weeks appeared to be intact on Monday‚ although the currency was quoted weaker against the dollar compared with Friday’s US closing levels.

At 8.38am local time the rand was bid at R8.1041 to the dollar from Friday’s close of R8.0763. It was bid at R9.9109 to the euro from its previous close of R9.9241 and at R12.6868 against sterling from R12.6563 before.

The euro was bid at US$1.2274 from $1.2286.

Absa Capital said in a research note that the rand strengthened again last week‚ marking the third successive week of rand appreciation in relation to the US dollar.

“This performance is in keeping with our underlying fundamental view that the rand will recover during the second half of the year. That said‚ 8.05/US dollar is proving a tough nut for rand bulls to crack to the downside in the near term‚ amid lingering uncertainties surrounding the European Union crisis and the global growth outlook‚” Absa Capital analysts said.

Friday’s Chinese trade data and Monday’s Japanese second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data suggested the global economic recovery remained fragile‚ which could hamper further risk appetite‚ unless the market believed the disappointing data would prompt further stimulus measures‚ they said.

This week’s international highlights include US retail sales and eurozone GDP‚ which will provide more insight into the global growth outlook. - I-Net Bridge