Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

THE rand rallied to its best level to the dollar in about eight days before pulling back slightly following the release of the US jobs data for January. The local currency also rallied against the British pound and the euro.

At 4.13pm‚ the rand was bid at R8.8799 to the dollar from its Thursday close of R8.9597 and Wednesday’s close of R9.0187. The local currency was bid at R12.1067 to the euro from its previous close of R12.1921 and at R14.0390 against sterling from R14.2148 before. The euro was bid at $1.3638 from Thursday’s close of $1.3610 and Wednesday’s close of $1.3568.

"The data suggests the continuing recovery of the US economy although at the slower pace. This reduces the safe haven appeal of the US dollar while increasing global risk appetite," said Mike Keenan, analyst at Absa Capital.

Employers added 157,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of US households, ticked up one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.9%.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast that nonfarm payrolls would rise by 166,000 and the unemployment rate would hold steady at 7.8%.