Graphic: renjith krishnan

The rand was firmer in late trade on Friday after better than expected US second quarter gross domestic product data encouraged market players to take more risk.

At 16:06 local time the rand was bid at R8.1971 to the dollar from Thursday’s close of R8.2389 and Wednesday’s close of R8.3973. It was bid at R10.1311 to the euro from its previous close of R10.1236 and at R12.9050 against sterling from R12.9323 before.

The euro was bid at US$1.2362 from Thursday’s close of $1.2280 and Wednesday’s close of $1.2147.

The initial reading of second-quarter GDP in the US was 1.5%‚ better than the 1.3% growth expected by economists from first quarter.

“I still prefer to stay long on the US dollar in the short term because of the volatility that we saw this week linked to eurozone problems‚” said Lynden Reabow‚ FX sales trader at PSG Prime.

Meanwhile‚ the euro found its footing to trend higher against the dollar on Friday‚ as investors clung to hopes that the European Central Bank (ECB) would intervene to safeguard prospects for the euro‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

In addition‚ Germany's chancellor and France's president pledged to do whatever it takes to protect the single-currency region‚ which further prompted a move out of safe haven financial assets.

This was despite comments from Germany's Bundesbank that it remains opposed to further government bond purchases by the ECB. - I-Net Bridge