The rand lost ground in late trade on Tuesday after the US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke provided no signal on further stimulus measures‚ which the markets had rallied in anticipation of.
At 16:19 the rand was bid at R8.2284 to the dollar from its previous close of R8.2027 and Friday’s close of R8.2551. It was bid at R10.0529 to the euro from its previous close of R10.0640 and at R12.8118 against sterling from R12.8193 before.
The euro was bid at US$1.2220 from its previous close of $1.2266 and Friday’s close of $1.2249.
“We are likely to revert back to 8.30 to the US dollar after markets were disappointed by Bernanke’s speech. Personally‚ I did not expect any significant shifts in Fed Chairman’s tone‚” said Lynden Reabow‚ FX sales trader at PSG Prime.
Bernanke provided no new direct clues as to whether the central bank would take fresh steps to support the fragile economic recovery‚ though he struck a more negative tone in describing the US economic outlook in testimony prepared for the Senate Banking Committee‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Bonds firm but off best levels
South African bonds remained firm in afternoon trade on Tuesday‚ but were off their best levels.
At 15:46‚ the benchmark R157 bond was trading at 5.700 percent from a best level of 5.640 percent‚ Monday’s close of 5.730 percent and Friday’s close of 5.800 percent. The R207 was trading at 6.650 percent from a previous close of 6.730 percent and the R186 was trading at 7.420 percent from its previous close of 7.530 percent.
At the end of May the R157 closed at 6.390 percent‚ the R207 at 7.645 percent and the R186 at 8.375 percent.
The rand was bid at R8.2009 against the dollar from Monday’s close of R8.2027 and R8.3204 at noon on Friday.