On Monday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.

  • Investors are in a holding pattern, waiting on high-level trade talks between the US and China later this week.  News reports indicated, that China was increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal pursued by the US President, Donald Trump.
  • Data from the South African Reserve Bank showed that the nation’s gross reserves rose to a record high in September.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose yesterday. The yield on 2020 bond advanced to 6.87% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue rose to 8.20%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading 0.2% lower against the South African rand at R15.1447, while the euro is trading 0.2% lower at R16.6207.  The British pound has declined 0.2% against the South African rand to trade at R18.6212.

By the close of trade on Monday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • In the eurozone, investor confidence deteriorated to its lowest level in six years, indicating that measures taken by central banks failed to dodge recession fears.
  • German factory orders fell more-than-expected on an annual basis in August, adding to signs that decline in manufacturing sector is pushing the economy into recession.
  • In the UK, news reports indicated that British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson was prepared to go to the Supreme Court in order to avoid having to ask Brussels for another extension.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.0974, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8925.

TECHNICAL:

RWC

LEADING CONTENDERS:

 New Zealand

With wins over South Africa, Canada and Namibia, defending champions New Zealand remain the team to beat as they head towards the knockouts.

England
England’s path through the Rugby World Cup has been compared to a game of Donkey Kong — each match is a level up, starting with the United States and Tonga, then Argentina, France and next the quarter-finals.

South Africa

Coach Rassie Erasmus has been able to alternate two teams, keeping his troops fresh for a quarter-final likely to be against the winner of Pool A, either Ireland, Scotland or Japan.

Wales

Gatland’s squad are currently enjoying a nine-day break before taking on Fiji, who are all but eliminated, on Wednesday. They will take on Uruguay in their final match after a four-day turnaround from Fiji.

Australia

The Wallabies have also been struggling to retain the ball, suggesting they are not yet title material. But for all their faults there is enough to like about the Wallabies to say they are capable of going deep into the play-offs.

They have scored 16 tries in three matches, six by wingers, three by centres and one from fullback, showing they are capable of striking out wide.

France

France have already won a playoff place but even coach Jacques Brunel has admitted their three-from-three record in Pool C has been far from impressive, and they will need a big improvement when they face also-unbeaten England for first and second place next weekend.

Ireland

A lackluster and injury-hit Irish side then beat Russia 35-0 but only secured a four-try bonus point in the final quarter. They now need a bonus-point win over Samoa in their final pool match on Saturday to be sure of a quarter-final place.

Japan

Hosts Japan set themselves the bold target of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

Though few would have put big money on the Brave Blossoms actually getting there, they find themselves on the brink of doing just that.  Japan’s ‘Miracle of Brighton’ – a breathless 34-32 win over South Africa four years ago – was the biggest upset in World Cup history.

Beating Ireland and Scotland to achieve a quarter-final spot would top even that. But who would bet against Japan now?