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Currencies (15.6.04)

14 June 2004 Angelo Coppola

The rand failed to capitalise on a weaker dollar yesterday afternoon, reports RMB AM.

It remained range bound against the US unit, which lost some ground against other major currencies after disappointing US trade for April.

Despite the euro firming, the rand - which frequently tracks the European unit as the currency of SA's largest trading partner – retained its softer tone in what dealers described as a very quiet and listless market.

At 3.55pm, the rand was quoted at R6,5751 to the dollar from an overnight close of R6,5126 on Friday, R6,4476 on Thursday, R6,6526 on Wednesday and R6,5876 on Tuesday.

It was quoted at R7,9265 to the euro from a previous R7,8116 and at R11,9290 against sterling from Friday's R11,8370.

A local currency dealer was hoping to receive some direction from the US trade data, but even though the news was disappointing, causing the dollar to lose some ground against the other major currencies, it failed to have any effect on the rand. The market has been very quiet.

Dealers expected the rand to continue to trade within a range of R6,53 to R6,59 tot he dollar for the remainder of the day.

On Thursday the rand touched R6,3950 to the dollar. It was quoted as strong as R6,3350 to the dollar on June 2 after trading above R7 as recently as May 11.

Damaged by a wider-than-expected trade deficit in April, the dollar was under selling pressure all day yesterday although expectations of higher US interest rates kept its losses in check.

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