Graphic: renjith krishnan

Johannesburg - The rand was firm in quiet morning trade on Thursday‚ with traders focused on news from the European Union (EU) summit that starts today.

“The next two days we will just be focusing on the EU summit. The other factor is exporter repatriation before the June month-end‚ which will provide support for the rand‚” a local trader said.

At 08:46 the rand was bid at R8.3932 to the dollar from its previous close of R8.4278. It was bid at R10.4951 to the euro from its previous close of R10.5137 and at R13.0886 against sterling from R13.1253 before. The euro was bid at US$1.2500 from its previous close of $1.2473.

Standard Bank said in its morning comment that markets seemed torn between hoping for a positive outcome from the EU summit and expecting nothing concrete to emerge‚ as seen from so many other summits.

“EU leaders remain divided — particularly on common Eurobonds. The risk therefore is that the summit does not yield any fresh ideas on how to stem the eurozone debt crisis‚” the bank said.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that dealers said the euro was likely to resume its falling trend soon despite gains against the dollar in Asia on Thursday‚ as its ascent represented only a minor position adjustment ahead of the EU summit. - I-Net Bridge