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Rand recovers as SA labour tension eases

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The rand was a tad firmer across the board on Thursday‚ as tension surrounding Anglo American Platinum’s restructuring process eased.

Workers at the world’s largest platinum producer in Rustenburg decided to report for duty last night after a 24-hour wildcat strike over the company’s proposal to retrench 14‚000 employees.

At 8.55am‚ the rand was bid at R8.7876 to the US dollar from R8.7987 at Wednesday’s close. The local currency was bid at R11.6778 to the euro from its previous close of R11.6886 and at R14.0497 against sterling from R14.0693 before.

The euro was bid at $1.3298 from Wednesday’s close of $1.3284.

Absa Capital analysts said in a note the rand could enjoy some reprieve if labour tension eased.

“However‚ rand short-covering appears limited this morning‚ given that safe-haven currencies such as the US dollar are exhibiting a firming bias. Similarly‚ even though the rand has weakened substantially since the start of the year‚ we are reluctant to call a turnaround in the rand’s fortunes until there is more clarity on whether and to what extent there may be more large-scale job losses within the mining sector or other parts of the economy‚” the analysts said. - I-Net Bridge

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