Graphic: renjith krishnan

The rand was in ranges in midday trade seeking direction ahead of the weekend‚ according to analysts.

The local currency had been under-pressure most of the week but came back a tad in early trading after Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) numbers were within the expected range.

At 11:53 the rand was bid at R8.3176 to the dollar from its previous close of R8.3181. It was bid at R10.1467 to the euro from its previous close of R10.1518 and at R12.8446 against sterling from R12.8301 before.

The euro was bid at US$1.2206 from its previous close of $1.2207.

“We consolidated a bit; just trying to find direction ahead of the weekend. The market is absorbing all the news from the week and there is a lot of scepticism ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting next week‚” said Bridget Taylor from Nedbank.

RMB said it expected the SARB MPC to keep the repo rate unchanged at 5.5% at the July 19 meeting. “The statement should be more dovish than in May on account of the positive inflation surprises‚ the moderation in global growth and downside risks to domestic economic momentum‚” the bank said.

Meanwhile‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported that Spain's banks increased their net borrowings from the European Central Bank in June as they experienced increased stress in the weeks leading up to the announcement of an EUR100 billion ($122 billion) bailout from the European Union.

According to data released on Friday by the Bank of Spain‚ net borrowings rose to EUR337.21 billion in June‚ from EUR287.81 billion in May and EUR47.78. billion in June 2011.

Deposits in the ECB's marginal deposit facility fell to EUR27.79 billion in June from EUR36.83 billion in May. The central bank earlier this month cut its overnight deposit rate to 0% from 0.25%. - I-Net Bridge