Graphic: renjith krishnan

The rand was steady in afternoon trade and‚ with no major news coming through‚ the local currency continued to be in ranges ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s Ben Bernanke’s speech on Tuesday and the monetary police committee interest rate decision on Thursday.

Bernanke is expected to testify in the Senate and Congress and global sentiment will be gauged by his evidence‚ which analysts believe will move the markets.

Locally‚ Investec said the MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) three-day meeting would be analysed in the context of a deterioration in the economies not only of developed countries‚ but also of emerging countries.

In its market report‚ the bank said global deterioration had prompted a renewed round of easing by central banks in advanced economies‚ lowering rates. However‚ no rate cut was expected for SA.

At 15:39 the rand was bid at R8.2454 to the dollar from its previous close of R8.2551. It was bid at R10.0832 to the euro from its previous close of R10.1204 and at R12.8534 against sterling from R12.8547 before.

The euro was bid at US$1.2232 from its previous close of $1.2249.

“The rand has not moved much‚ although there has been a bit of increase on risk appetite‚ the movement is very small. There has not been much news to drive the rand and we don’t expect any rate cuts from MPC on Thursday‚” said Ian Cruickshanks head of Nedbank Treasury.

Meanwhile Dow Jones Newswires reported that the UK economy should begin to recover over the next six months as consumers' ability to spend improves and more progress on the eurozone debt crisis - however uncertain and slow - was made. - I-Net Bridge