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Lacklustre market

19 August 2004 Angelo Coppola

(20.8.04) The rand was back above the level R6,60 to the dollar in late afternoon trade yesterday, when a move that started on the back of dollar buying saw stop losses triggered at R6,56.

RMB AM and Business Day report that the local unit posted losses across the board, despite a higher gold price.

In late afternoon, the rand was quoted at R6,6038 to the dollar from R6,5251 on Wednesday.

It was quoted at R8,1501 to the euro from a previous R8,1055 and at R12,0780 against sterling from Wednesday's close of R11,8630.

There were just a couple of offshore funds buying dollars, which triggered stops at about the R6,56 level. There was nothing too dramatic in what remains a relatively lacklustre market, a market analyst said.

He also said that the rand had started to move weaker in morning trade due to importer demand for dollars below R6,50.

The dollar was broadly weaker yesterday as more violence in Iraq and another record high for oil prices prompted dealers to ignore benign US economic data and sell the currency.

Weekly jobless claims were slightly lower than expected and a survey of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area was not as weak as observers had feared, even though it was below the previous month's number.

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