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

  • At the G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors Meeting, a communique was released stating the global economy is experiencing a sharp contraction in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook is less negative with global economic activity showing signs of recovery as our economies have been gradually reopening and the positive impacts of our significant policy actions started to materialize. However, the recovery is uneven, highly uncertain and subject to elevated downside risks. The G20 Ministers reaffirmed their determination to continue to use all available policy tools as long as required to safeguard people’s lives, jobs and incomes, support the global economic recovery.
  • China said on Thursday the United States was seriously undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait after a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed through the waters amid escalating tensions between Beijing and Taipei. Zhang Chunhui, spokesman for China’s eastern theatre command, said in a statement that the Chinese military followed and monitored the USS Barry when the destroyer made what the U.S. Navy called a “routine Taiwan Strait transit” on Wednesday. China considers Taiwan a wayward province that needs to be reunited with the mainland, by force if needed.
  • In South Africa, data showed that the contraction in annual retail sales eased in August, after more sectors of the economy were allowed to open, following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
  • In the US, producer price index (PPI) rebounded more-than-expected on an annual basis in September, amid a surge in the cost of hotel and motel accommodation, leading to the first year-on-year gain since March.
  • Meanwhile, the US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, demanded that the White House revamp its latest offer and Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, pushed a smaller-scale strategy that Pelosi quickly rejected.
  • The Hon. Judge Amy Comey Barrett sat through a 3rd day of relentless questions and answers in the confirmation hearings.  Judge Barrett is trumps nominee to the most senior seat on the Judiciary.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond dropped to 7.14%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.46%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.40%.

In early trade on Thursday, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R16.5746, while the euro is trading higher at R19.4644.  The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R21.5604.

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

  • EU leaders are once again heading to the Brussels summit, this time with the members of the eurozone. This is the formal, biannual meeting, as opposed to the extraordinary EU Summit at the start of the month. The meeting is significant in many ways, particularly in regard to Brexit. The UK has a self-imposed deadline to reach a leaving agreement at the meeting, which starts on October 15.
  • The eurozone’s seasonally adjusted industrial production rose less-than-expected on a monthly basis in August.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1746, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9027.