On Wednesday morning, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.  Like the fast and furious movie “Gone in 60 seconds” the small gains in early trade were blown away!

  • South African Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, stated that the budget deficit is set to be two percentage points higher on average over the next three years.
  • He announced no set plans to restructure Eskom’s R450.00bn debt. The minister said the ailing power utility could receive further funding, provided it meets certain operational requirements.
  • The greenback lost ground, after the Fed slashed the key interest rate by 25 basis points to a target range between 1.50% and 1.75%, but dropped a previous reference in its statement to “act as appropriate” to support the economic expansion.
  • On the data front, 3Q19 US gross domestic product (GDP) slowed less than expected, as declining business investment was offset by resilient consumer spending and a rebound in exports.
  • Further, the ADP national employment report for October showed a modest acceleration in private sector job growth, boosted by gains in the service sector.

The yield on benchmark government bonds rose yesterday. The yield on 2020 bond advanced to 6.95% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue rose to 8.43%.

In early trade on Thursday morning, the US dollar is trading 0.3% lower against the South African rand at R14.9645, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R16.7148.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R19.3545.

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

  • On the data front, the eurozone’s economic sentiment indicator registered its weakest reading since 2015 in October, suggesting the region’s economy is struggling.
  • The region’s consumer confidence index dropped in line with market expectations during the same month.
  • In Germany, the jobless rate held steady in October. However, the number of people out of work increased in seasonally adjusted terms, suggesting that a manufacturing crisis in the eurozone’s largest economy is spilling over into the labour market.
  • Consumer prices index (CPI) rose on a monthly basis in October.
  • French GDP defied forecasts for a slowdown in 3Q19.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro has advanced 0.2% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1169, while it has weakened 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8636.

RWC

Siya Kolisi will lead the team out for the 20th time as he becomes the eighth player in the 23 to have won 50 caps.    Kolisi has the opportunity to follow in footsteps of Francois Pienaar and John Smit by becoming the third Springbok captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

It would be achieved on the occasion of his 50th cap: Pienaar did it on his 21st appearance and Smit on his 74th.

  • 1995   Johannesburg
  • 2007   Paris [12 years later]
  • 2019   Tokyo [ 12 years later?]

Coach Rassie Erasmus named the now familiar six-two split on the bench to field a settled line-up, 22 of whom will be appearing together for the fourth time in the tournament.

England have named an unchanged starting side that beat New Zealand.  The lone change to England’s match-day 23 is on the bench where scrumhalf Ben Spencer, who only arrived in Japan on Monday, replaces the injured Willi Heinz.

Teams:

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

England

15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jonathan Joseph

The final kicks off at 11:00 (SA time) on Saturday.

In the 3rd and 4th playoff on Friday, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen urged his dejected players to show character and bounce back from their Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat against England when they take on Wales in the third-place playoff.

New Zealand, who won the last two World Cups, are heading into a game that no one wants to play on Friday and Hansen said it presented his team with an unusual challenge.

New Zealand

15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Jordie Barrett

Wales

15 Hallam Amos, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 James Davies, 6 Justin Tipuric, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Wyn Jones, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Hadleigh Parkes