Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

The rand was slightly firmer at midday on Monday as the local currency shrugged off a marginally firmer dollar ahead of Tuesday’s public holiday.

The dollar has been under pressure since German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit with US President Donald Trump on Friday, which caused some awkward moments in the White House.

Merkel indicated she was prepared to shake Trump’s hand, but he showed no reaction, with spokesperson Shaun Spicer later saying Trump did not hear her. Trump later tweeted that Germany still owes money to the US from its Nato commitments, which were later refuted by German officials.

"The tweets caused some concerns over Trump, with the dollar trading jittery resulting in a more favourable view toward emerging markets," said TreasuryOne currency dealer Andre Botha.

But gains for the rand were becoming harder and harder to achieve, he said.

At 11.40am the rand was at R12.6759 from R12.7178. It reached R12.6419 in intraday trade.

The rand was at R13.6398 against the euro from R13.6591 and at R15.7470 against the pound from R15.7551.

The euro was at $1.0759 from $1.0740.

The US Federal Reserve was expected to lift rates at least twice in 2017, with the federal open market committee releasing a mildly dovish statement last week.

The dollar was expected to benefit from higher interest rates.

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