US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

The rand weakened against its major trading partners in late trade from the morning levels after the US central bank chief announced no additional monetary easing as most in the market had anticipated.

At 4.17pm‚ the rand was bid at R8.4412 to the dollar from R8.4938 at Thursday’s close. It was bid at R10.6248 to the euro from its previous close of R10.6241 and at R13.3738 against sterling from R13.4043 before.

The euro was bid at US$1.2589 from $1.2508 at Thursday’s close.

The US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he saw continued economic weakness and called the state of the labour market a “grave concern”‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

He said the Fed “will provide additional policy accommodations as needed”‚ and added things like additional bond buying and forward rate guidance “have been and can continue to be effective” in providing economic support. - I-Net Bridge