Picture: 123RF/LEONID IKAN
Picture: 123RF/LEONID IKAN

The rand strengthened more than 0.7% at 11.30am when Statistics SA reported that the third quarter's GDP came in at 2.6%, far better than economists expected.

9.30am GMT is 11.30am SA-time.
9.30am GMT is 11.30am SA-time.
Image: Iress

The economy grew 1.1% in the third quarter on an annualised basis, well ahead of economists' forecast of growth of 0.5%, and confirming expectations that SA had exited its technical recession.

"The uptick will certainly deliver a much-needed improvement in local consumer and business confidence," Peregrine Treasury Solutions corporate treasury manager Bianca Botes said.

At 1.10pm the rand was 1.03% stronger against the dollar at R13.5531, 0.51% against the euro at R15.469 and 0.23% against the pound at R17.386. The euro was 0.52% firmer against the dollar at $1.1413.

The bid on the benchmark R186 government 10-year note was at 8.87% from 8.9%.

The local currency's gains were most significant against the dollar, which was under some pressure as doubts began to surface about the ongoing US-China trade war.

The pound was also finding some support. Earlier, a European Court of Justice official said the UK was not required to consult members of the EU should it decide to change its mind on Brexit.

This would soothe the difficulties of any referendum reversing the decision significantly, analysts said.