THE rand was little changed from its overnight close in early trade on Tuesday.

"We have had a quiet start to the day as there has been nothing to move the market overnight," a local trader said.

At 9.01am the rand was bid at R8,3033 to the dollar from its previous close of R8,2976. It was bid at R10,4632 to the euro from its previous close of R10,4383 and at R13,0135 against sterling from R13,0023 before.

The euro was bid at $1,2601, from its previous close of $1,2583.

Standard Bank said in its morning comment that the rand has managed to maintain its recent gains and, with attention now shifting to the FOMC meeting this week, the firmer bias could remain intact in the short term.

"Unless, of course, today's unemployment data proves much worse than expected, which could temporarily see the rand weaken anew. However, with so much happening on the global front, the rand remains at the mercy of offshore developments," the bank said.

The employment data is due at 11.30am.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that the euro was likely to resume declines if an audit showed bailout funds for Spanish banks were insufficient.

Investors are awaiting the outcome of an audit on Spanish banks, expected later this week.

The audit is increasingly likely to show that the recently requested ?100bn in bail-out money won't be enough to save all of Spain's troubled banks. If that is indeed right, dealers say the euro should resume its declines against its major rivals.

preussh@bdfm.co.za