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Rand in narrow range as US jobs data disappoint

At 1500 GMT, the rand inched 0,08 percent weaker to 12,2565 per dollar.

FILE: South Africa's emerging market peers took advantage of the slack labour figures and renewed scope for a US hike deeper into 2015. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand traded in a tight range against the dollar on Thursday, remaining on the back foot after paring earlier losses after US jobs growth slowed.

At 1500 GMT, the rand inched 0,08 percent weaker to 12,2565 per dollar, barely moved from an overnight close of 12,2500 but clawing back some ground after slipping to a session low 12,3575.

"US nonfarm payrolls came in a little below expectations and led the dollar/rand to drop off," said John Cairns, chief trader at Rand Merchant Bank.

Nonfarm payrolls increased below expectations to 223,000 in June, while 60,000 fewer jobs were created in April and May than previously reported, dampening expectations the US Federal Reserve will raise lending rates in September.

South Africa's emerging market peers took advantage of the slack labour figures and renewed scope for a US hike deeper into 2015, with Brazil's real firming 1,3 percent and Russia's rouble 0,8 percent stronger.

A local survey showed consumer sentiment plunging to a 14-year low in Q2, battered by higher petrol prices, increased debt servicing costs and high unemployment - exposing South Africa's creaking domestic fundamentals to offshore shocks.

"The next big news is the Sunday election on Greece. That will be felt on Monday morning," Cairns said.

Greece holds a referendum on Sunday to decide its future in the euro zone after it defaulted on a $2 billion International Monetary Fund loan on Tuesday.

Government bonds firmed, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 shedding 2,5 basis points to 8,24 percent.