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

  • The U.S. reported 99,321 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, beating its previous record set only a day prior as the pandemic worsens in nearly every corner of the nation. “We’re at a point where the epidemic is accelerating across the country. We’re right at the beginning of the steep part of the epidemic curve,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” on Friday evening.
  • With voters in the US going to the polls this tomorrow, or more accurately, not going to the polls, having already cast their postal votes in huge numbers, Asia will be looking nervously westwards this week, wondering what the outcome will be, and that it will mean for them. President Trump has been aggressive with China, but, opponents argue, he has also fractured coalitions weakening the US hand.
  • In the US, consumer spending unexpectedly rose in September, but decreasing benefits for millions of unemployed people, cooling temperatures and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across the nation could crimp spending in the 4Q20.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond dropped to 7.07%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.21%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.30%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading marginally lower against the South African rand at R16.2469, while the euro is trading lower at R18.9063.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R20.9822.

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

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England back into a national lockdown after the United Kingdom passed the milestone of one million COVID-19 cases and a second wave of infections threatened to overwhelm the health service. The United Kingdom, which has the biggest official death toll in Europe from COVID-19, is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day and scientists have warned the “worst case” scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded. Johnson, at a hastily convened news conference in Downing Street after news of a lockdown leaked to local media, said that the one-month lockdown across England will commence on Thursday at Midnight and run until the 2nd December 2020.

 The eurozone’s economic performance registered an improved reading in 3Q20 from its coronavirus-induced slump, but the rally is likely to be cut short as countries re-introduce restrictions to stem the second wave of the pandemic.

 The German economy rebounded in 3Q20, as higher consumer spending and exports helped Europe’s largest economy to recover partly from its worst-ever recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. German retail sales fell more-than-expected on a monthly basis in September.

 European Central Bank Board member, Yves Mersch, stated that bank is ready to provide more support to the economy when it meets in December, but it should also assess the unwanted side effects of any potential measures.

 U.K. and European Union officials are zeroing in on a solution to break the eight-month long deadlock over one of the biggest obstacles to their planned trade deal. In a sign that an agreement could be struck by the mid-November deadline set by both sides, a compromise is emerging on the issue of what access EU boats will have to U.K. fishing waters, according to two people with knowledge of the EU side of the discussions. The potential solution would allow Britain to claim it has won back control of its seas — a key government demand — and pave the way for the country’s fishing industry to catch more

 In early trade on Monday, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1628, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9006.