By the close of trade on Monday, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

A risk-on appetite for investors as global markets rallied on positive news regarding a treatment for COVID-19.

  • The United States remains stuck in a recession and it will likely take years for economic growth to return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) warned on Monday. About half of the respondents in the NABE’s August 2020 Economic Policy Survey said that U.S. GDP—the broadest measure of the economy—won’t return to its pre-pandemic level until 2022 or later.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients as an option for treatment.
  • In the US, the Chicago Fed national activity index fell more-than-expected in July. Meanwhile, at Capitol Hill, wrangling over stalled coronavirus aid talks continued, with Congressional Democrats and Republicans continuing to remain at loggerheads over funding levels and unemployment benefits.
  • History will remember Paul Volcker and Jerome Powell as standing on the opposite ends of the inflation canyon, with the former taking desperate actions to try to tramp it down and the latter expected this week to announce an unprecedented effort to crank it back up. Volcker, the Federal Reserve chairman from 1979-87, ushered through a series of inflation-busting interest rate hikes that dragged the country into recession but won the fight against pricing pressures and spurred a powerful economic recovery. Powell, the central bank chief since 2018, is likely to detail a set of measures aimed at pushing inflation higher.
  • The digital Yuan known as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system – is being rolled out across China, with a plan for the country to eventually go cashless. But it could also be a potentially huge change for global trade and commerce payments.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds advanced yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.38%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.46%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.30%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading 0.3% lower against the South African rand at R16.9312, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R19.9839.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R22.1762.

By the close of trade on Monday, the euro declined against most of the major currencies, spooked by the resurgence of coronavirus cases across Europe.

  • Earlier, the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union and the US agreed to end tariffs on US frozen and live lobster for the next five years.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1805, while it has weakened 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9011.