Rand near R10,30 on Syria news

JOHANNESBURG — The rand was trading near the R10,30 per dollar level early trade yesterday after the United States administration won backing from the Republican leadership for a move against Syria.

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Dow Jones Newswires reported that House speaker John Boehner said he supported President Barack Obama’s call for military action in Syria.

In addition, Senate Foreign Relations Committee leaders reached an agreement on a resolution authorising limited military strikes against Syria.

The resolution was put to a vote of full committee yesterday and could reach the full Senate for a vote as early as next week.

“We are holding near the R10,30 level for the moment, but the market is jittery,” a local trader said.

At 8am, the rand was bid at R10,3006 to the dollar compared with Tuesday’s close of R10,3242 and Monday’s close of R10,2556.

Against the euro, the rand was bid at R13,5651 from its previous close of R13,5936 and was at R16,0315 against sterling from R16,0598 at its previous close.

The euro was bid at $1,3168, the same as Tuesday’s close and compared with $1,3189 at Monday’s close.

“Strong US data, moves towards war with Syria and mounting pressures on other emerging markets are a terrible combination for the rand — yet the local unit continues to hold up remarkably well,” RM bank said in its morning report yesterday.

“Whether this can continue is now in doubt. Event risk is low but overall risks are high today,” the bank added.

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