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Tight range

06 July 2005 Angelo Coppola

The rand was slightly firmer yesterday (6 July) as it tracked the stronger euro inside a tight range, with traders shrugging off surging retail sales figures to focus on US payrolls data tomorrow.

On Tuesday, weak commodity prices, a sliding euro and worries over the success of a bid by UK bank Barclay's for local bank Absa pushed the rand to a three-week low of R6,90 against the dollar, but it rebounded modestly yesterday.

In late afternoon, the rand was trading at R6,835 against the dollar, a couple of cents stronger than its New York close of R6,85 to the dollar.

It is range bound trade in thin volumes. Initially it strengthened on the back of the euro, then came back again. Retail sales came out but the next interest rate meeting isn't until Augustand they are more focused on the US.

The dollar stuck an 11-month high against the yen yesterday as oil prices climbed to a record, weighing on the outlook for Japan's fragile economic recovery.

Traders sold yen as the price of oil peaked above $60 per barrel, on the view than Japan's heavy reliance on imported crude could snuff out recent signs that the world's second largest economy was gaining steam.

By late afternoon, the dollar hit 11-month highs at about ¥112,29 up over 0,4% from late Tuesday.

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