The volatile rand remained range bound in midday trade on Thursday‚ tracking global markets which firmed on improved sentiment on the eurozone debt and Spanish banks crises.
At 11:54 the rand was bid at R8.3091 to the dollar from Wednesday’s close of R8.3026. It was bid at R10.4538 to the euro from its previous close of R10.4397 on Wednesday and at R12.8860 against sterling from R12.8583 at its previous close. The euro was bid at US$1.2588from Wednesday’s close of $1.2572.
“It has been mostly quiet‚ the market has gradually come back after a few days’ volatility. This doesn’t mean the risk has been averted‚ the problem is that none of the meetings held in the past few days came up with something concrete on tackling the eurozone problems‚” a local trader said.
RMB said it had adjusted its rand forecasts to reflect the renewed eurozone stresses.
“We now expect high rand volatility over the next quarter‚ with dollar/rand trading in a range of as much as 8.00–9.00. Risks over this period are to the topside. We expect the trend for rand gains to re-emerge when the eurozone tensions settle down‚ perhaps in the fourth quarter of 2012.”
Standard Bank also reiterated that the recent volatility would remain a feature for as long as markets remained uncertain over the future of the eurozone‚ with the upcoming Greek elections a particular focus.
Bonds steady after switch auction
South African bonds were steady in midday trade on Thursday after the National Treasury said it wanted to switch up to R10bn worth of the short-dated R201 bond into the longer-dated R186 and R214 bonds on June 14.
On May 31‚ the Treasury swapped R7.235bn worth of R157 bonds and R2.02bn worth of R186 for R206 bonds.
At 11:52‚ the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.240 percent from Wednesday’s close of 6.260 percent‚ Tuesday’s close of 6.330 percent and Monday’s close of 6.355 percent.
The R207 was bid at 7.530 percent and offered at 7.505 percent from a previous close of 7.540 percent and the R186 was trading at 8.270 percent from its close of 8.280 percent.
The rand was bid at R8.3157 against the dollar from Wednesday’s close of R8.3026‚ Tuesday’s close of R8.4443‚ Monday’s close of R8.4758 and a worst level on Monday of R8.6291.