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Johannesburg‚ Dec 27 (I-Net Bridge) - The rand gained ground in late trade on Thursday on a firmer euro due to the prospect of the US averting the fiscal cliff before year-end. Such a resolution would lead to risk on trade and would help the rand gain further value.

“The rand is a bit stronger due to a firmer euro‚ amid thin and quiet trade and low volumes seen. We will continue trading in the R8.45 to R8.60 range until there is a clear idea of how US politicians are going to resolve the cliff issue‚” a local trader said.

At 3.42pm‚ the rand was bid at R8.4991 to the US dollar from its previous close of R8.5657.

The local currency was bid at R11.2853 to the euro from its previous close of R11.3265 and at R13.7395 against sterling from R13.8039 before.

The euro was bid at $1.3277 from its overnight close of $1.3227.

The US‚ the world's biggest economy‚ has a year-end deadline to avert the US fiscal crisis of spending cuts and tax hikes worth billions of dollars‚ which analysts believe could tip the country into recession.

3.42pm Bids Range so far Previous Close

(1.42pm GMT)

Dollar/rand 8.4991 8.4783 - 8.5866 8.5657

Euro/rand 11.2853 11.2557 - 11.3813 11.3265

Sterling/rand 13.7395 13.7085 - 13.8604 13.8039

Euro/dollar 1.3277 1.3222 - 1.3284 1.3227