The rand was marginally softer on Monday morning and is expected to be somewhat range-bound this week, due to the Easter long weekend.

Upbeat Chinese data earlier lifted sentiment, but US corporate earnings season is the dominant market theme this week.

The positive Chinese trade data, along with slightly weaker commodity prices, is likely to keep the rand range-bound, said TreasuryOne senior currency dealer Andre Botha. “Coupled with the short week, we expect the rand to stay within tight ranges as we head into the long weekend.”

At 9.35am the rand was 0.21% firmer at R13.9328/$, up 0.12% to R15.7668/€ while remaining flat at R18.2449/£. The euro was little changed at $1.1316.

The benchmark R186 government bond was bid at 8.455% from 8.475%.

There are also some local data releases to look forward to this week, with the release of consumer inflation data for March and retail sales numbers for February, both on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Chinese first-quarter GDP numbers are due. They will be closely watched amid the concern that the global economy is slowing.