THE rand was a touch weaker and trading in thin ranges at midday on Thursday, having recovered from a brief slide after the budget speech on Wednesday.

The domestic currency lost 5c against the dollar on Wednesday afternoon in response to a larger than expected budget deficit, but recovered before the day’s close.

"We are in a strange situation where the major currencies are more volatile than we are," RMB currency trader Jim Bryson said.

He said that overall markets appeared quite happy with the budget but "it will be interesting to see how our continued dependence on foreign inflows to relieve the current account deficit will play out".

"We saw a move yesterday just after the budget speech, but the rand couldn’t get above R8.88-R8.89/$ level and has settled back into the same tight ranges we’ve been in for the past week or so," he said.

At 11.42am, the rand was bid at R8.8454 to the dollar from R8.8319 at Wednesday’s close. It touched a worst level of R8.8899 on Wednesday.

The local currency was bid at R11.6068 to the euro from its previous close of R11.6155 and at R13.3985 against sterling from R13.3831 before.

The euro was bid at $1.3119 from $1.3154 at Wednesday’s close and $1.3068 at Tuesday’s close.