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Rand firmer on risk appetite

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The rand was firmer in midday trade on Wednesday, supported by a number of factors, which included positive sentiment resulting from the Kagiso purchasing managers’ index.

“We also had PMI (purchasing managers’ index) data points out of China and India, which beat expectations. This brings confidence to the market and therefore risk taking,” said Mark Kalkwarf, senior portfolio manager at Iquad group.

Expectations of a Greek debt restructuring deal added impetus to risk-on trade, according to Mark Kalkwarf, senior portfolio manager at Iquad group.

At 11:43am, the rand was trading at R7,7654 to the dollar from its previous close of R7,7900. It was trading at R10,1913 to the euro from R10,1960 before and at R12,2498 against sterling from R12,2858 previously.
The euro was trading at $1,3120 from its previous close of $1,3073.

The seasonally adjusted Kagiso PMI, which is a measure of activity in the SA manufacturing sector with 50 the break-even level, rebounded to 53,2 in January after slipping to 49,4 in December from 51,6 in November.

Abdul Davids, the head of Research at Kagiso Asset Management, said: “The January reading of 53,2 is substantially above the consensus expectation of 50,2 and also above most developed countries’ flash readings for January.”

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