The rand was down about one percent against major currencies on Thursday at midday as ongoing labour unrest in the mining sector and softer commodity prices encouraged a sell-off in the domestic currency.
"I think it's a combination of negative sentiment towards mining as a result of labour tensions and the commodities story," said Henry Flint‚ head of research at Thebe Stockbrocking.
Although workers had returned to work at Lonmin (LON)‚ an underground strike at Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplat’s) Tumela Mine in Amandelbult‚ Limpopo was ongoing. Another strike‚ about retrenchments‚ was also looming at Amplats’s (AMS) Rustenburg operations.
“Chinese and European growth also came in worse than expected and that has obviously affected commodities prices‚ too‚” Flint said.
At 11.27am the gold price was down 1.37 percent to $1‚375.89/oz while platinum was down 1.01 percent to $1‚473/oz.
At 11.278am the rand was bid at R9.3441 to the US dollar from R9.2620 at Wednesday’s close and R9.2283 at Tuesday’s close.
The local currency was bid at R12.0261 to the euro from its previous close of R11.9153 and was at R14.2215 against sterling from R14.0891 at its previous close.
The euro was bid at $1.2871 from $1.2873 at Wednesday’s close and $1.2932 at Tuesday’s close.
Bonds mixed in quiet trade
South African were mixed in thin midday trade on Thursday.
At 11.30am the benchmark R186 was trading at 6.795 percent from 6.800 percent at Wednesday’s close and 6.780 percent at Tuesday’s close.
The rand was bid at R9.3420 to the US dollar from R9.2620 at Wednesday’s close and from R9.2283 at Tuesday’s close.