Wow did KZN get battered last night including a Category 4 Tornado over New Hanover / Howick.  I hope everyone came out unscathed and our prayers go out to those affected by the storm.  The worst is reportedly still to come!

By the close of trade on Tuesday, the South African rand had weakened against the US dollar.

  • US President, Donald Trump, stated that while a “significant phase 1” trade deal between the US and China could happen soon, he would only accept it if the agreement worked to the advantage of US workers and businesses.  Trumps statement that if a final deal is not reached soon, the US will substantially raise tariffs on Chinese Imports will have EM currencies shivering.
  • In the US, the NFIB small business optimism index rose less-than-expected in October. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) of Philadelphia President, Patrick Harker, stated that he did not support the Fed’s last rate cut in October and hinted that the central bank should keep monetary policy steady.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds ended mixed yesterday. The yield on 2020 bond advanced to 6.91% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue fell to 8.47%.

On Wednesday in early trading, the US dollar is trading 0.1% lower against the South African rand at R14.9328, while the euro is trading marginally lower at R16.4458. The British pound has declined 0.1% against the South African rand to trade at R19.1824.

On Tuesday in late trade, the euro has declined against most of the major currencies.

  • German economic sentiment improved more-than-expected in November, pointing to a more favorable outlook for Europe’s biggest economy, after recent developments surrounding trade conflicts.
  • A separate gauge measuring investor assessments of the economy’s current conditions edged up during the period.
  • Separately, news reports suggested that US President, Donald Trump, might put off for another six months a decision on whether to place tariffs of up to 25.0% on European auto imports, ahead of today’s deadline for the decision.

In early trading on Wednesday, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1013, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8573.

A thick mist hangs low over the East Coast.  Be safe if you are on the roads.