Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The rand was firmer against major global currencies on Friday afternoon, but off its best levels, after a key US jobs report came in much stronger than expected.

US employers added 250,000 jobs in October, well ahead of market expectations of 190,000.

The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains climbed to 3.1% from 2.8%, hitting a nine-year high, reported Dow Jones Newswires. The US jobs report is usually the most closely watched economic report every month, and is scrutinised for clues about future US monetary policy.

The rand had been given a boost earlier by risk-on global sentiment, amid market rumours that the US was preparing to clinch a new trade deal with China.

Local news took a back seat, with President Cyril Ramaphosa's firing of SA Revenue Service (Sars) boss Tom Moyane possibly having a limited effect on the markets, said TreasuryOne currency dealer Andre Botha. But it could be the start of additional clarity.

At 2.45pm the rand was 0.56% firmer against the dollar at R14.3241, 0.33% to the euro at R16.3708 and 0.55% to the pound at R18.6212. The euro was 0.24% stronger to the dollar at $1.143.