The rand tracked the euro a fraction weaker at noon on Wednesday in a very quiet market as a number of participants are still on holiday.
“We are trading in a tight range with a number of people still away on leave. The market is waiting to hear if farm strikes will start again in earnest‚ which would be bad for the rand. If the strike is sorted out‚ it will be good for the rand” said Mark Kalkwarf‚ currency dealer at the Iquad Group.
“The so called fiscal cliff in the US was averted at the end of December and temporary issues were resolved. By mid February they will have to come up with a proper plan going forward. The uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff caused investors to take risk off the table‚ which had a bad effect on the rand‚” he said.
“There is rumour in the market that France might be downgraded and this caused the euro to lose ground‚ and the rand followed suit‚” he said.
At 11.59am‚ the rand was bid at R8.5855 to the US dollar from its previous close of R8.5733 on Tuesday.
The local currency was bid at R11.2170 to the euro from its previous close of R11.2150‚ and at R13.7806 against sterling from R13.7640 before.
The euro was bid at $1.3067 from its overnight close of $1.3083. - I-Net Bridge