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Some profit taking

22 July 2004 Angelo Coppola

(23.7.04) After its volatility earlier in the week, the rand was range-bound against the dollar in late afternoon trade yesterday in a quiet market.

RMB AM and Business Day report that market analysts expected the rand to consolidate ahead of the weekend, before testing firmer again next week.

In late afternoon, the rand was quoted at R6,0675 to the dollar from R6,0626 on Wednesday.

It was quoted at R7,4333 to the euro from a previous R7,4111 and at R11,2010 against sterling from Wednesday's R11,1660.

The rand seems to be range-trading. It is pretty much tracking the euro, which is responding to the dollar, a market analyst said.

The local unit was likely to consolidate, he said, with players squaring positions ahead of the weekend, before making any big moves.

After the rand's recent rally, which saw it touch R5,88 to the dollar - its best level since January 1999 - on Monday afternoon, some profit taking had been inevitable, the analyst asserted.

The dollar appeared to run out of steam yesterday, after two days of solid gains, trading weaker against most major rivals but little changed against the euro.

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Healthcare brokers have long complained about inflation-plus medical scheme contribution increases; but pandemic may have changed things. What will pandemic-induced changes in hospital utilisation do to medical scheme contribution increase patterns?

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