Graphic: renjith krishnan

The rand was firmer in early trade on Thursday‚ compared with intraday levels on Wednesday‚ as global markets swung back and forth due to changing sentiment about negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff facing the US.

At 8.44am‚ the rand was bid at R8.8173 to the US dollar from Wednesday’s close of R8.8190. The local currency was bid at R11.4079 to the euro from its previous close of R11.4186 and at R14.1144 against sterling from R14.1167 before.

The euro was bid at $1.2940‚ from 1.2951 at its previous close.

“The rand is now caught up in these moves‚ following the euro weaker and then stronger‚ for a relatively large range‚” RMB analysts said in a note.

The latest optimism on the fiscal cliff talks was fuelled by John Boehner‚ the house speaker and effective Republican leader‚ who expressed optimism that a deal could be reached‚ RMB analysts said. - I-Net Bridge