Reports suggesting the US and China are close to an agreement on issues of currency valuation boosted emerging-market currencies, including the rand, on Thursday morning.
The US officially labelled China as a currency manipulator in August, but Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the US was now considering a deal on currency valuations as part of a first phase of a deal. The deal could include the suspension of some tariffs next week.
Only the Turkish lira was failing to benefit from this, said TreasuryOne senior currency dealer Andre Botha, amid a military intervention by that country into Syria.
At 9.40am the rand was 0.26% firmer at R15.1336/$, but had fallen 0.14% to R16.6687/€. The local currency was flat at R18.516/£.
The euro had risen 0.41% to $1.1015.
Focus remains on US-China trade war headlines, with the rand having come under pressure earlier after Chinese media reported that mid-level talks had failed to make progress.
Local focus is on mining and manufacturing data for August later in the day.