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Up and down...

31 October 2004 Angelo Coppola

After a whippy day on Thursday, the rand traded range bound on Friday, shrugging off foreign trade data released in the early afternoon.

RMB and Business Day report that at close of trade, the rand was quoted at R6,1088 a dollar from an overnight close of R6,0950 on Thursday and R6,1676 on Wednesday.

The rand had basically done nothing all day - even after the figures. It is just trading in a range, a currency trader said.

The rand had an extremely up and down day on Thursday, after a surprise rate hike in China and India saw the dollar spike and the local currency slide at about lunchtime.

However, bearishness towards the greenback and pre-election jitters saw the US currency surrender its gains and the rand recoup its losses.

The dollar slipped on Friday as generally positive Us economic data failed to inspire much buying interest ahead of next week's US presidential election and October payrolls report.

Deep-seated market concerns over the record US currency account deficit continue to cast a bearish pall on the dollar, traders said.

There were also apprehensive about the possibility that the election could end up in an Electoral College tie or a protracted legal battle as in 2000, in which case the winner may not be known for weeks.

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