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Rand softer ahead of local trade data

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JOHANNESBURG — The rand was steady in early trade yesterday, but operating in a weaker environment ahead of the release of local trade data later in the day.

At 8.25am the rand was trading at R11,6232 to the dollar from a Monday close of R11,6104. The local unit had begun the week trading at R11,58 against the greenback.

Against the euro, the rand was at R14,1030 from a previous close of R14,1143 and was at R18,0298 against the British pound from R18,0193.

The euro was trading at $1,2131 against the dollar from a Monday close of $1,2153.

The South African Revenue Service will release trade data for November at 2pm. Economists expect the data to show a narrowing of the deficit to R7bn from R21bn in October.

Response to the data might be muted due to the December holiday.

The rand, however, remains vulnerable in the long term.

The cumulative deficit for 2014 is R95,11bn compared with R73,08bn by the same time in 2013.

— BD Live

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