The rand was firmer in midday trade, tracking the euro as it made a slight recovery, despite continued European uncertainties.
"It has been quiet, trading in ranges. The euro has had a minor recovery, we are euro dependent at the moment," a local trader said.
At 11:34 local time the rand was bid at R8.1772 to the dollar from Monday's close of R8.1983. It was bid at R10.4983 to the euro from R10.5146 before, and at R13.1302 against sterling from R13.1855 previously. Prior to Friday, the rand was last above R13 per sterling on December 16 2011.
Gold was trading at $1558.45 per ounce.
The euro was bid at US$1.2850 from Monday's close of $1.2828.
Standard Bank said the twin concerns of a Greek exit from the eurozone and a landing harder than expected in China were keeping the market on edge.
"Concerns that Greece will exit the eurozone are continuing to mount as political parties appear unable to reach an agreement on a new government," said the bank.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that the euro climbed 0.3 percent against the dollar to $1.2868, climbing from a four-month low reached late on Monday.
In the morning, investors sold as the prolonged coalition talks in Greece, which failed to form a government on Monday and were extended to Tuesday, reignited fears of the Mediterranean country leaving the eurozone.
"Markets are aggressively pricing in a messy Greek default and a potential exit from the eurozone," said Stan Shamu, market strategist, IG Markets.
Later in the day, traders received a boost, with Germany's gross domestic product rising 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter of last year, while France's economy managed to avoid a contraction.
Bonds remain firm after auction
South African bonds were firmer in midday trade on Tuesday, after a "fairly positive" weekly government bond auction.
At 11:50, the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.455 percent from Monday's close of 6.500 percent. The R207 was bid at 7.660 percent and offered at 7.635 percent from a previous close of 7.695 percent and the R186 was trading at 8.360 percent from its close of 8.415 percent.