THE rand was slightly stronger in late trade on Tuesday, with market participants awaiting the European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting on Thursday and a two-day gathering of US Federal Reserve policymakers next week.

Expectations were that ECB President Mario Draghi might announce the buying of bonds with maturities of up to three years and an interest rate cut; many market participants were also hoping for further monetary stimulus from the US Fed.

"The rand was at very weak levels towards the end of last week and on Monday, but markets were more optimistic today (Tuesday) leading up to Thursday’s Draghi announcement and the rand was stronger on the back of this increased optimism," a local trader said.

"There was some interest from exporters at these levels today. There was liquidity in the market, but with subdued trade and limited flows. Any announcement of further monetary stimulus on Thursday will be good news for the rand," the trader added.

At 4.06pm, the rand was bid at R8.3760 to the dollar from R8.3828 at Monday’s close. It was bid at R10.5359 to the euro from its previous close of R10.5540 and at R13.2892 against sterling from R13.3106 before.

The euro was bid at $1.2589 from $1.2588 at Monday’s close.