Graphic: renjith krishnan

The rand gave up earlier gains against the US dollar to trade near the top end of its range‚ as markets braced for the US Fed policy statement.

At 15:30 local time the rand was bid at R8.2515 to the dollar from Tuesday’s close of 8.2599. It was bid at R10.1622 to the euro from its previous close of R10.1569 and at R12.8869 against sterling from R12.9397 before.

The euro was bid at US$1.2313 from Tuesday’s close of $1.2297.

Standard Bank analysts said they were not looking for a material change from the Fed on policy‚ but expected enough encouragement in rhetoric regarding the possibility of easing ahead‚ and a pushing back of rate-hike expectations.

The US Fed is facing a battery of disappointing economic data and mounting expectations for the central bank to step in and shore up a faltering recovery‚ according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Fed officials have already downgraded their economic forecasts this year and signalled concerns over spillover effects from the European debt crisis and a potential slowdown in global growth. - I-Net Bridge