Rand. Picture: REUTERS
Rand. Picture: REUTERS

The rand was firmer against major global currencies on Tuesday afternoon, gaining more than 1% against the euro, following the release of a series of economic data.

Local inflation for February came in below market expectations, boosting hopes for an interest-rate cut next week. The inflation numbers bolstered the prospect of a rate cut, but the Reserve Bank would likely hold off for now, said Capital Economics analysts.

In Europe, a German economic sentiment indicator came in well below forecast, putting pressure on the euro.

Analysts expect rand volatility might return in coming days, with focus remaining on the US Federal Reserve open market committee meeting on Wednesday. While the market had largely priced in an expected Fed interest rate rise, investors will closely watch the tone of the statement for signals of future policy.

At 3pm, the rand was at R11.9564 to the dollar from R12.0331, R14.6899 to the euro from R14.8451, and at R16.7309 to the pound from R16.8622. The euro was at $1.2285 from $1.2334.