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

  • Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies were set to form the world’s largest free trade bloc on Sunday, a China-backed deal that excludes the United States, which had left a rival Asia-Pacific grouping under President Donald Trump. The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at a regional summit in Hanoi, will be a further blow to the group pushed by former U.S. president Barack Obama, which his successor Trump exited in 2017.
  • President Donald Trump has admitted publicly for the first time that President-elect Joe Biden won the election, more than seven days after media outlets including NBC News called the race for Biden. The seeming acknowledgement of defeat came on Twitter, in response to a post by the Fox News show “Watters’ World” that suggested that Biden “didn’t earn” the presidency. “He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump wrote, repeating an allegation that has been debunked by election officials around the country and his own Department of Homeland Security.  Trump later tweeted “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! WE have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”
  • A SpaceX spacecraft carrying four astronauts soared into outer space Sunday marking the kick off of what NASA hopes will be years of the company helping to keep the International Space Station fully staffed. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut with Japan’s space agency, are now in orbit, riding aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that is expected to dock with the ISS on Monday at 11 pm ET. That means the crew will spend 27 hours in orbit as the spacecraft slowly maneuvers toward its destination.
  • In the US, the Michigan consumer sentiment index unexpectedly fell in November, as households worried about their finances, the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic and the depleted fiscal stimulus, dimming the economy’s outlook.
  • The producer price index (PPI) rose for a sixth straight month on an annual basis in October, amid more expensive food and gasoline.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds advanced on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 6.98%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.11%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue climbed to 8.88%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R15.4722, while the euro is trading lower at R18.3334.  The British pound has marginally declined against the South African rand to trade at R20.4521.

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

  • Boris Johnson is self-isolating after meeting an MP who later tested positive for Covid-19. The prime minister said he was contacted by NHS Test and Trace on Sunday but is not showing symptoms. Mr. Johnson on Thursday spent about 35 minutes with Ashfield MP Lee Anderson who has since tested positive. The news came as No 10 said Mr. Johnson would make “critical announcements” about coronavirus and “levelling up” the UK over the coming weeks.
  • Ahead of the next round of Brexit talks in Brussels, “there has been some progress in a positive direction in recent days,” the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost tweeted out on Sunday. Additional takeaways “We are working to get a deal but the only one that’s possible is one that is compatible with our sovereignty and takes back control of our laws, our trade, and our waters.” “We also now largely have common draft treaty texts, though significant elements are of course not yet agreed. We will work to build on these and get an overall agreement if we can.” “We may not succeed.
  • The eurozone’s gross domestic product (GDP) was marginally revised down in 3Q20, making the year-on-year contraction slightly larger.
  • On the other hand, the region’s seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened in September.

In early trade on Monday, the euro advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1851, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8959.