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

  • The dollar was down on Monday morning in Asia, with investors awaiting updates on U.S. President Donald Trump’s health after he and his wife Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 during the previous week.
  • President Donald Trump’s doctors said Sunday they had begun treating him with dexamethasone, a steroid that has shown promise for critically ill patients but may cause harm to those with less severe cases of Covid-19. The revelation, which came as part of an upbeat briefing on the president’s condition, raised further questions about Trump’s health as the 74-year-old wrestles with the virus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.
  • Emerging-market currencies were supported by hopes of more stimulus in the US. The US economy added fewer than expected jobs in September and recorded the slowest increase since the recovery began in May this year. Meanwhile, the Michigan consumer sentiment index surpassed investor expectations in September.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden’s national lead over President Donald Trump jumped this month, and voters consider the Democratic challenger better equipped to handle a range of key issues than the Republican incumbent, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found. Biden garners the support of 53% of registered voters nationally, versus 39% for Trump, according to the survey released Sunday.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond dropped to 7.20%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.51%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.41%.

In early morning trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.6% lower against the South African rand at R16.4233, while the euro is trading 0.5% lower at R19.2684. At 06:00 SAST, the British pound has declined 0.6% against the South African rand to trade at R21.2615.

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

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not particularly wish for the Brexit transition period to end without a new trade deal in place but believes that Britain could live with such an outcome, he said on Sunday (Oct 4). With the Dec 31 expiry of the transition period fast approaching, Johnson and the head of the EU’s executive, Ursula von der Leyen, agreed in a phone call on Saturday to step up negotiations on a post-Brexit deal.” I think it’s there to be done,” Johnson said during an interview on BBC television.
  • Japan and South Korea plan to agree as early as this week on the resumption of business trips between the two countries, a measure the two governments halted in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to Japanese government sources. The entry of expatriates and other long-term residents as well as travelers on short-term business trips will be allowed in both countries, provided they have tested negative for the coronavirus test and turn in itineraries
  • Eurozone inflation fell deeper into negative territory in September, raising pressure on the European Central Bank to add stimulus, as an ongoing recession will keep price growth below its target for years to come.

In early morning trade on Monday, the euro advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1732, while it has gained 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9061.