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Rand inches up in subdued trading

Dampened by closed US markets.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand traded within a narrow range on Tuesday as the closure of stock and bond markets in the United States due to the giant storm there dampened activity.

The rand was at 8.6400 to the dollar at 1512 GMT, 0.4% firmer than Monday’s New York close.

“We’ve been fairly rangebound for a few days now,” said Nilan Morar, head of trading at Global Trader.

“We’re pretty much trading in an environment with a marginally weaker dollar, which is what has kept the rand fairly stable.”

Local data due this week, including September’s trade balance and unemployment figures, had to a large extent been absorbed by the market, Morar added.

“Unemployment, as we know, has been annoyingly high and is expected to remain that way for a while,” he said. “I don’t see anything surprising there.”

Government bonds were stable, with yields on the 3- and 14-year instruments at 5.49 percent and 7.75% respectively.

The Treasury sold a total of R2.1bn ($242 million) of its 2031, 2041 and 2048 government bonds on Tuesday, though yields barely moved.

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