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Rand slightly softer against dollar ahead of Greek vote

03 July 2015 - 19:56 By Madeleine Van Niekerk

The rand was slightly softer against the dollar in late trade on Friday amid cautious trade ahead of the Greek referendum on Sunday.

Greeks will vote in a referendum on the country’s international bail-out‚ which could determine whether the country remains in the eurozone or returns to the drachma.

US markets are closed due to a public holiday‚ contributing to a weaker rand bias.

Stockbrokerage Imara SP Reid said short-term technicals on the rand were still exhibiting some evidence of "gradual weakness" with the local unit edging out towards a minor technical area at just beyond R12.30.

At 3.21pm‚ the rand was at R12.2765 against the greenback from a close of R12.2548 on Thursday.

The rand was at R13.6275 against the euro from a previous close of R13.5824 and at R19.1694 to the British pound from R19.1269 previously. The euro was at $1.1100 from its previous close of $1.1085.

According to the chief executive of Europe’s largest stock exchange‚ a Greek exit from the eurozone would pose a series of challenges for the financial services industry‚ as reported by Dow Jones Newswires.

"This could be very‚ very chaotic‚" said the CE of BATS Chi-X Europe‚ Mark Hemsley. "Financial contracts‚ such as swaps‚ would have to be redesignated in drachma‚" Mr Hemsley said.

While adding the new currency to trading platforms could be "fairly straightforward" from a technical point of view‚ adapting the post-trade infrastructure in a very short period of time would become a complex task for the industry. To organise this properly required at least a couple of years. If this were done in three or six months‚ it would be a "complete nightmare"‚ he said.

- BDLive