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

  • The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) kept the key interest rate unchanged at 6.5%.
  • In the US, leading indicator fell for the third straight month in October, pointing towards slowing US economy.
  • Trump administration officials are considering whether to start a new trade investigation against the European Union as the window closes for hitting Brussels with automobile tariffs.
  • The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act could become another obstacle to a trade deal between the US and China, sources and diplomatic observers said on Thursday, with Beijing closely watching developments.
  • Completion of a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal could slide into next year, trade experts and people close to the White House say, as Beijing presses for more extensive tariff rollbacks, and the Trump administration counters with heightened demands of its own.   Trump said some 5 weeks back that an initial deal would take around 5 weeks to ink.  Well 5 weeks have rolled by on that date!
  • The number of people filing applications for unemployment benefits remained unexpectedly unchanged at a five-month high for the week ended 15 November, indicating softening labour market.
  • Existing home sales ticked up in October, amid lower mortgage rates and a shortage of properties for sale.
  • Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rebounded in November.
  • Minneapolis Federal Reserve (Fed) President, Neel Kashkari, stated that the US consumer is strong, and despite a decline in investment by businesses, the economy is likely to continue to grow.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose yesterday. The yield on 2020 bond advanced to 6.85% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue rose to 8.32%.

In early trade on Friday, the US dollar is trading marginally lower against the South African rand at R14.6793, while the euro is trading marginally higher at R16.2400.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R18.9616.

By the close of trading on Thursday, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • Meanwhile, the European Central Bank’s (ECB) latest meeting minutes indicated that policy makers policy makers agreed to wait and monitor as to whether the eurozone’s economic weakness would last even longer than expected in September.
  • On the data front, the preliminary reading of eurozone consumer confidence rose more-than-expected in November.

In early trade on Friday, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1064, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8567.