The rand was little changed in early morning trade on Friday as the market waited for the US April jobs data due out at 14:30 local time.
"The rand is just treading water waiting for the US jobs data. Last month the data surprised on the downside, so we will have to wait to see what it does this time around," said a local trader.
At 08:52 local time the rand was bid at R7.7232 to the dollar from its previous close of R7.7218 and Wednesday's close of R7.7253. It was bid at R10.1476 to the euro from R10.1573 before, and at R12.4891 against sterling from R12.4999 previously.
Gold was trading at US$1634.95 per ounce.
The euro was bid at US$1.3148, unchanged from its previous close of $1.3148 and Wednesday's close of $1.3155.
Standard Bank said in its morning report that the rand was running out of momentum.
"A tone slightly more hawkish than expected from the European Central Bank nevertheless gave the euro a boost yesterday. The rand tracked the euro stronger but ran out of momentum near the R7.70 level to the US$. Markets will look to today's non-farm payrolls data for direction but, with the ADP report released earlier this week having disappointed, today's data could prove similarly so. While such an outcome would weigh on the dollar today, the weekend elections in France and Greece will be closely eyed over concerns of new governments backpedalling on the required fiscal reforms. While the rand continues to be well supported by non-resident inflows into the bond market, we expect the currency to continue taking its cue largely from developments in the eurozone and, with the euro's rally likely to be short-lived, there could be further weakness in store for the rand," the bank said.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that the euro was expected to remain under pressure heading into the weekend French and Greek election outcomes.
"Eurozone political uncertainty and economic weakness should provide impetus for the euro to decline against the dollar," Brown Brothers Harriman said in a note.
The mixed economic data of late has contributed to uncertainty over whether US Federal Reserve policy makers will decide this year to use stimulus measures to lower interest rates and boost growth, weakening the dollar in the process.
The US economy likely added 168,000 jobs in April, according to the consensus forecast from a Dow Jones survey, up from 120,000 jobs the previous month. However, given the unclear economic picture, the figure will likely need to beat expectations for investors to rule out more Fed action and bid up the dollar, said Samarjit Shankar, managing director of global strategy at BNY Mellon in Boston.
"Unless the payrolls number is astoundingly higher or lower than expected, I don't think you're going to see any major deviation in the dollar," he said.
Bonds tad softer ahead of ILB auction
Bonds were a touch softer in early morning trade on Friday ahead of the inflation linked bond (ILB) auction at 11:00 am.
"We saw some foreign selling yesterday and that has kept the market on the softer side this morning ahead of the auction. Once that is out of the way then the market will focus on the US jobs data, which is due out at 14:30," a trader said.
At 08:33, the benchmark R157 bond was bid at 6.375 percent and offered at 6.370 percent from its previous close of 6.335 percent and Wednesday's close of 6.390 percent. The R207 was bid at 7.415 percent and offered at 7.410 percent from a previous close of 7.400 percent and the R186 was bid at 8.095 percent and offered at 8.070 percent from its close of 8.050 percent.