THE rand picked up against the dollar in the late afternoon on Friday as US nonfarm payroll employment data came in as expected.
Altogether 217,000 jobs were created in the US in May, slightly higher than the 210,000 predicted, but not good enough to send the rand weaker. The figure strengthened the view that the US Fed would continue with its measured approach to hike rates, thereby keeping liquidity in the market over the short term. This is favourable to emerging market currencies.
At 3.35pm, the rand was at R10.6248 to the dollar from Thursday’s close of R10.6832, after earlier strengthening to R10.5728.
Against the euro, it was at R14.4933 from its previous close of R14.5997 and at R17.8298 to the pound from Thursday’s close of R17.9531.
The euro was at $1.3646 from its previous close of $1.3660.
Rand Merchant Bank foreign exchange trading head Jim Bryson said on Friday that the market had been quite volatile since the European Central Bank reduced interest rates on Thursday. “Today’s US jobs data was more in line with expectations.”
He said the volatility was more pronounced in the rand/euro tradings, with the rand benefiting. “The hunt is on again for yield,” he said.
The rand did receive some support at R10.58 to the dollar. “But I think rand strength will be more reflected with the euro,” he said.