The rand was stronger on Thursday afternoon amid positive news of a possible settlement of the nearly five-month long platinum strike.

Impala Platinum Holdings (IMP), together with platinum producers Anglo American Platinum (AMS) and Lonmin (LON), have reached in principle undertakings with the leadership of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) to end the 21-week strike.

The undertakings are in respect of wages and conditions of employment. Amcu will be discussing the “in principle undertakings” with its members to seek a mandate to accept the offers which may end the strike.

At 3.32pm the rand was at R10.6782/$, from R10.7373/$ at Wednesday’s close and after reaching a worst level of R10.76/$ in early morning trade.

Against the euro, it was at R14.4538 from its previous close of R14.5322 and at R17.9746 to the pound from R18.0412 on Tuesday.

The euro was at $1.3536, from $1.3533 on Wednesday.

Iquad Treasury trader Mohammad Ayob said the morning’s April mining data also created more positive sentiment toward the rand, despite continued concern about Friday’s possible downgrading announcement by ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

Output growth in the mining sector grew a monthly 7.9% following April’s decline of -4.9%. “This was significantly better than the consensus expectation of a monthly 4.9%,” Mr Ayob said.