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

  • In South Africa, consumer price index (CPI) accelerated to its highest rate in seven months in October, driven by rising food prices.
  • Meanwhile, the nation’s business confidence jumped to a two-and-a-half year high in 4Q20, as the country adapts to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It is Thanksgiving in the US today and many investors will be taking Friday off to make it a long weekend break. This means that nearly all of this week’s US data was squeezed into Wednesday’s session. Unfortunately, the data dump painted a mixed to disappointing picture for the world’s largest economy. Jobless claims disappointed expectations and the latest estimate of third-quarter economic growth was bang in line with the estimates. Durable goods orders and new home sales both beat, but personal income unexpectedly fell.
  • New applications for jobless claimed rose for the second straight week, increasing by 778,000 vs. 732,000 eyed
  • Q3 GDP (second estimate) was unchanged at 33.1% as expected
  • Durable goods orders rose 1.3% vs. 1.0% expected
  • New home sales beat at 999K vs. 972K annualized unites expected
  • Personal spending rose 0.5% vs. 0.4% expected, but personal income fell 0.7% vs. a flat reading expected
  • Trump is expected to join Rudi Giuliani in Gettysburg, PA tomorrow where GOP state lawmakers are holding a “hearing” on allegations of fraud in the 2020 election. Not on his schedule, but being planned as an unannounced movement, according to a latest tweet.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 6.95%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.14%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue marginally fell to 8.86%.

In early trade on Thursday [Thanksgiving in the US and bank holiday], the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R15.1022, while the euro is trading marginally lower at R18.0166.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R20.2322.

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

  • The European Union’s Head stated that the bloc could not guarantee a trade deal and that it was prepared for a no-deal Brexit.
  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he’s appointed his “best people” to work on breaking a stalemate that’s seen more than 50 ships laden with Australian coal stranded off Chinese ports, as tensions between the trading partners increase. More than $500 million worth of Australian coal and about 1,000 crew on the ships are stuck after China blacklisted a wide swathe of Australian commodities and foodstuffs, amid what Morrison described on Thursday as an “extraordinary period” in the relationship.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1966, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8926.

In sporting news, Diego Maradona, one of soccer’s greatest players, died of a heart attack Wednesday at the age of 60. With a legacy of financial trouble, his net worth was estimated to be as little as $100,000. The Argentina star left a lasting legacy on the field. “The Hand of God” goal at the 1986 World Cup, which involved him punching the ball into the net, followed minutes later with one of the all-time greatest goals, vaulted the attacking midfielder into sports lore forever. His stardom with Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli made him an international icon.