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

  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he had fired a Department of Homeland Security official who has publicly refuted the president’s unfounded claims about widespread election fraud. “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud – including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, “glitches” in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more.” Trump tweeted. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated.
  • Earlier, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration: Brian P. Brooks, of Colorado, to be Comptroller of the Currency for a term of five years. Brian P. Brooks is Acting Comptroller of the Currency. He previously served as Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase Global, Inc., a digital asset exchange and custodian. Earlier in his career, he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Fannie Mae; Vice Chairman of OneWest Bank, N.A.; and managing partner of the Washington, D.C. office of the global law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP.
  • In the US, retail sales registered the weakest rise in six months, mainly due to spiraling new COVID-19 infections and declining household income.
  • The US Home Builders’ monthly confidence index notched a record-high reading in November.
  • The Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman, Jerome Powell, stated that the need for additional fiscal help from Washington was more pressing than it has been in a long time.
  • US stocks were unable to keep the relentless rally going after a soft retail sales report was accompanied with growing concerns the current COVID wave will make this a “difficult winter”. Wall Street does not have a catalyst to keep the climb going to uncharted territory, but they do have a plethora of short-term risks. Bearish sentiment is persisting as the Fed has not provided a clear signal that they will do more at the December meeting, on rising doubts that the Biden administration will get anything meaningful passed when they take office, and on concerns of what President Trump will do with the remainder of his term in the White House.
  • China will roll out a new copper futures contract this week that will be open to foreign traders, in a push to boost yuan adoption and wrest some pricing power away from the established industry benchmark in London. The addition of copper, the world’s most-traded base metal, to a growing suite of international commodity futures will increase China’s appeal to the global trading community, analysts say, even if limits on yuan convertibility remain a barrier to wider adoption.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly rose yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond advanced to 6.95%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond remained steady at 4.13%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue climbed to 8.83%.

In early trade on Wednesday, the US dollar is trading marginally lower against the South African rand at R15.4045, while the euro is trading marginally higher at R18.2622.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.4066.

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

  • In the UK, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, warned his top ministers that an EU deal was far from certain, but that Britain would thrive with or without a deal.
  • Separately, the Bank of England (BoE) Governor, Andrew Bailey, stated that Britain’s economy is undergoing lasting changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial services industry must make a major commitment to support the investment that will be needed.
  • It’s was a busy start to the day on the economic calendar this morning. The Kiwi Dollar, Japanese Yen, and the Aussie Dollar were in action in the early part of the day. For the Kiwi Dollar In the 3rd quarter, the producer price input index rose by 0.6%, partially reversing a 1% decline from the 2nd quarter. Advertisement According to NZ Stats, In the 3-months to September, prices received by producers fell by 0.3%, while prices paid bounced back. Prices paid for rent and fuel were on the rise in the 3rd quarter. Petrol and diesel prices increased by 7.0% and by 9.2% respectively

In early trade on Wednesday, the euro marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1866, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9020.