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

  • On the data front, South Africa’s consumer price index (CPI) rose more-than-expected on an annual basis in July. In the US, orders for durable goods surged in July, due to strong consumer demand for new cars and trucks.
  • Thursday’s Jackson Hole speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell will be the most important event risk this week. Despite a continued rise in US yields, investors sold US dollars ahead of this big event. The greenback experienced its biggest decline against sterling, the New Zealand and Australian dollars. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Fed President, Esther George, stated that it is too soon to know what additional steps the Fed can take to help the economy continue to recover from the sudden lock down in March and April.
  • Nigeria’s all-out effort to defend it’s currency by targeting importers and exporters with tougher regulations and risks pushing more traders to the black market for their dollars. As a scarcity of foreign-exchange worsens in Africa’s largest economy, the central bank on Tuesday ordered banks to report exporters that fail to repatriate income made abroad. The directive comes only a day after the regulator banned importers from using external agents to pay for goods, a bid to keep money inside the nation’s borders.
  • Jeff Bezos is doing quite well for himself in the pandemic. Bezos just became the first person ever to be worth $200 billion. The Amazon founder saw his net worth reach the incredible milestone on Wednesday, as his company’s stock continues a rock-steady climb that started when the pandemic first reached the United States. Bezos’ net worth soared past the $200 billion benchmark. It’s incredible, Jeff himself is worth more than huge brands like McDonald’s, Nike and Pepsi. Those companies are valued between $139 billion and $191 billion.
  • Chinese Military Launches Two Missiles In South China Sea In a warning to the United States.
  • US President Trump calls for election delay so people can properly, securely and safely vote.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds advanced yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.40%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.52%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.29%.

In early trade on Thursday, the US dollar is trading marginally higher against the South African rand at R16.8696, while the euro is trading marginally lower at R19.9643. The British pound has marginally declined against the South African rand to trade at R22.2952.

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

  • Japan has steadily churned through its share of premiers in the decades since World War II with one stint a little more than two months. Yet just as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe notched a record for the most consecutive days in office, it appears that fatigue has set in. Polls show support for his cabinet has been sagging for a while. After spending hours at a hospital on Monday, his second visit in about a week. Tokyo is rife with speculation that Abe is seriously ill and might step aside in the coming months. Leader aside, Japan appears poised for hard times. Exports have plummeted and job losses and pay cuts are a haunting specter. Domestic demand, slammed late last year by a tax hike, remains timid as a government discount campaign intended to spur spending has been met with limited consumer interest. To cover a shortfall in tax revenues, the debt-laden government recently issued more bonds. Fortunately, Japanese households are renown savers.
  • The European Central Bank Board member, Isabel Schnabel, stated that the central bank’s experiment with negative interest rate has been successful, even if unwanted side effects grow over time.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1827, while it has gained 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8962.