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

  • The widespread distribution of vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing monetary easing could cause the U.S. dollar to weaken as much as 20% next year.  A second experimental coronavirus vaccine has succeeded at preventing COVID-19 in the final stage of clinical research, marking a victory in the fight against the pandemic. The upstart biotech Moderna announced the success Monday morning in a press release, saying its vaccine was 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. An independent group of experts found clear signs of effectiveness after reviewing preliminary data from an ongoing 30,000-person study, Moderna said. Moderna’s shot is the second major vaccine program to announce success in a late-stage trial.
  • In the US, the Federal Reserve (Fed) Vice Chair, Richard Clarida, stated that the Fed will use a broad set of employment measures including the labour force participation rate to determine when the economy has returned to maximum employment, as part of an aggressive new approach to repairing the US jobs market.
  • US President-elect Joe Biden offers an opportunity for better China-US relations, Fang Xinghai, Vice-Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), said in a statement on Tuesday.
  • Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, confirmed today that after serving for more than three and a half years, he will conclude his tenure at the end of this year. Chairman Clayton was sworn in on May 4, 2017, and will leave the SEC as one of its longest serving Chairs.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond dropped to 6.92%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.13%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue declined to 8.80%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R15.3222, while the euro is trading lower at R18.1684.    The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.2562.

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

  • The German Bundesbank’s monthly report stated that the German economy is likely stagnating or contracting, as measures taken at home and abroad to contain the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit leisure activities as well as exports.
  • Financial markets may be cheering the newly announced prospect of a Covid-19 vaccine, but central banks are less sanguine and are preparing to provide markets with fresh liquidity support. Speaking at an OMFIF roundtable on 16 November, European Central Bank Executive Board Member Yves Mersch highlighted that the ECB stands ready to ‘recalibrate all our instruments’ and ‘adjust them to the present circumstances’.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1862, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9029.