Graphic: renjith krishnan

The rand lost ground in thin late afternoon trade on Monday, but remained stronger on the day, as it tracked a euro that gave up gains made in early morning trade.

“The markets are thinner because of the US Memorial Day holiday,” a local trader said, adding that the only real driver in the currency market was the fact that the euro had, failed to reach its previous highs and is now being sold off again.

At 15:39 the rand was bid at R8.3312 to the dollar from Friday’s close of 8.3547.

It was bid at R10.4396 to the euro from Friday’s close of R10.5058 and at R13.0576 against sterling from R13.1088 at the previous close.

The euro was at US$1.2537 from Friday’s close at US$1.2575.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that while concerns over the health of Spain's banking system weighed heavily on Spanish equities and bond yields, moves in major currencies were muted on Monday, with only small losses in the euro in markets thinned by holidays across some of Europe and the US.

The euro was given a modest boost against the dollar after news that Greece's pro-bailout New Democracy party has swung into first place ahead of next month's elections, according to opinion polls published on Sunday.

The euro did give away some gains later in the session, but moves were muted. Strained areas of the eurozone bond markets and main equity bourses were also quiet with the absence of major US players due to the Memorial Day holiday. - I-Net Bridge