Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

The rand was slightly firmer against the dollar just before midday on Friday, while most emerging-market currencies were mostly steady ahead of this afternoon’s release of US nonfarm payrolls data.

In a volatile trading session, the currency weakened to R13.76/$ before the markets open, stabilised and had firmed slightly just before midday.

At 11.30am, the rand was at R13.7121 to the dollar from R13.7339‚ at R16.0945 to the euro from R16.1676 and at R18.4826 to the pound from R18.5068.

The euro was at $1.1737 from $1.1772.

The currency’s volatility comes on the dollar strength, which was supported by US president Donald Trump’s soon-to-be-released infrastructure stimulus programme, progress made with the tax reform bill and the last-minute debt ceiling deal that was signed on Thursday night.

Emerging-market currencies have been under pressure with such developments in the US.

Later in the day, the market will see from the release of US nonfarm payrolls data if another interest-rate increase in on the cards in December.

Rand Merchant Bank analyst Ilke van Zyl said US nonfarm payrolls data is anticipated to show a sharp increase in hourly earnings, with the rate hike next week seeming like a done deal as the market assigned it a probability of 98.3%.

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