By the close of business on Thursday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.

  • Negotiations on a virus relief package ended Thursday night with the White House and Democrats making progress on a few issues but still no closer to making headway on the biggest obstacles in the talks.“There are a lot of issues we are close to a compromise position on,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said after a more than three hour meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. But they remain “very, very far apart on some significant issues.”
  • The greenback gained ground, following the release of better-than-expected weekly jobless claims data. Friday is a big day as the US Congress’ self-imposed deadline for a stimulus package and the scheduled release of non-farm payrolls is scheduled for later today.
  • The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced details of the FedNow Service, a new 24x7x365 interbank settlement service with clearing functionality to support instant payments in the United States.
  • The number of people seeking jobless benefits for the week ended 1 August 2020 fell to a three-week low.
  • In the US China trade war President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered an unspecified ban on “transactions” with the Chinese owners of the consumer apps TikTok and WeChat. The twin executive orders — one for each app — take effect in 45 days.
  • China’s central bank said on Thursday it would make its prudent monetary policy more flexible and targeted, and keep liquidity appropriately ample to support economic recovery. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it would maintain a reasonable rise in money supply and total social financing, and ensure banks had the credit supply to match firms’ demand for loans to support economic recovery.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.47%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.61%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue dropped to 9.26%.

In early trade on Friday, the US dollar is trading 0.4% higher against the South African rand at R17.5378, while the euro is trading 0.1% higher at R20.7173.  The British pound has gained 0.3% against the South African rand to trade at R22.9534.

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

  • Seasonally adjusted German factory orders surged in June, gave hope that the eurozone’s largest economy is on track for a recovery from declines suffered from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown earlier this year.
  • In the UK, the BoE voted unanimously to hold the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.1% and the asset purchase programme at GBP745.00bn, as expected. The central bank Governor, Andrew Bailey, warned that the economy would take longer to recover from its COVID-19 slump than it previously forecasted.
  • U.S. and UK participants in the U.S.-UK Financial Innovation Partnership (FIP) met virtually on August 5, 2020, to exchange views on topics of mutual interest as part of their ongoing partnership. The Regulatory and Commercial Pillars of the FIP met jointly to discuss deepening U.S.-UK ties in financial innovation. The U.S. participants included officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Participants from the UK included representatives of Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) and the UK Department for International Trade.

In early trade on Friday, the euro has slipped 0.3% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1839, while it has weakened 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9026.





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