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

  • China on Friday executed a former top banker accused of taking $260 million worth of bribes, as well as other forms of corruption and bigamy, state media outlets reported. Lai Xiaomin was an infamous figure, a high-ranking party official and the former chairman of Huarong – one of the country’s largest state-controlled asset management firms. Lai was given a death term on January 5 by Tianjin No.2 Intermediate People’s Court after he confessed and all the money and property he accumulated over many years – said to be a record sum – was seized by state officials. Lai appealed for leniency but this was rejected.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar’s governing National League for Democracy (NLD) party, has been arrested, a party spokesman said. It comes amid tensions between the civilian government and the military, stoking fears of a coup. At elections in November, the NLD won enough seats to form a government, but the army says the vote was fraudulent. Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the military until 2011. Ms Suu Kyi spent many years under house arrest. The newly elected lower house of parliament was due to convene for the first time on Monday but the military was calling for a postponement.
  • Over the weekend China released a pair of PMI reports that could offer investors some insight into the state of its economy and shed a little light on the conditions of the global economy. China’s factory recovery slowed in January as COVID-19 returned and growth in China’s services sector slowed in January. In January, mainland China reported more than 2,000 local cases of the coronavirus. While the number was small compared to other countries, authorities were concerned about transmission risks during the Lunar New Year travel rush the world’s biggest annual human migration spanning 40 days from January to February.
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her Canadian counterpart on Friday underscored the importance of working closely together on economic policy, national security and climate change, the governments said in separate statements. Yellen spoke with Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland about a range of issues, including efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of the bilateral trade relationship, Treasury said in a statement.
  • Data indicated that South Africa reported its eighth consecutive monthly trade surplus in December.
  • Moreover, South African Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago stated that there is room for further stimulus should the country experience a third wave of COVID-19.
  • In the US, on the data front, consumer spending fell in December, amid renewed business restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and a temporary expiration of government-funded benefits for millions of unemployed people.
  • Pending home sales decreased for a fourth straight month in December, weighed down by a shortage of houses available for sale.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 6.68%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.63%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.72%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R15.1252, while the euro is trading lower at R18.3442.  The British pound has declined  against the South African rand to trade at R20.7628.

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

  • The latest PMI data pointed to a renewed deterioration in operating conditions across the Japanese manufacturing sector in January. Survey respondents registered a fall in output in the latest survey period, following a broad stabilisation seen in December, as rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases had a renewed impact on the economy. That said, Japanese manufacturers reported a stable trend in new business inflows for the first time in over two years, as some businesses anticipated a recovery in demand in 2021.
  • Matteo Renzi, who triggered Italy’s political crisis this month by pulling his Italia Viva party out of the ruling coalition, would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister, a party source said on Sunday. The former coalition allies are holding talks to try and overcome their differences and revive their government, which formally collapsed last week when Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned.
  • German unemployment fell unexpectedly in January, signaling that government incentives for companies to keep workers on their payroll during the coronavirus pandemic were shielding the labour market in Europe’s biggest economy.
  • German gross domestic product rose in 4Q20, driven by robust exports despite a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In early trade on 1st February 2021, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.2166, while it has weakened  against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8851.


 USD to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 15.5286 16.0231
Low 14.6571 14.5379
Average 15.1340 15.1444
Volatility 0.98% 0.76%

GBP to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 20.9990 21.0204
Low 19.9656 19.5556
Average 20.6442 20.3579
Volatility 0.82% 0.72%

EUR to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 18.9467 18.9467
Low 17.9139 17.7636
Average 18.4151 18.2810
Volatility 0.9% 0.7%

 AUD to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 11.9967 11.9967
Low 11.2827 11.0639
Average 11.6781 11.3932
Volatility 0.88% 0.71%

 MUR to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 0.39420 0.40189
Low 0.36778 0.36619
Average 0.38247 0.38136
Volatility 1.08% 0.99%

 CNY to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 2.39668 2.39959
Low 2.24499 2.22446
Average 2.33812 2.31734
Volatility 0.94% 0.74%