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

  • On the data front, South African private sector credit advanced more-than-expected in October.
  • The nation’s trade surplus narrowed during the same month. The greenback lost ground in holiday-thinned trade, as the US-China trade talks remained in focus. China’s government wants tariffs to be rolled back as part of the phase one trade deal with the U.S.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2020 bond declined to 6.87% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue fell to 8.45%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.2% lower against the South African rand at R14.6341, while the euro is trading 0.2% lower at R16.1237.  The British pound has declined 0.3% against the South African rand to trade at R18.9007.

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

  • German retail sales slumped in October, suggesting that private consumption in the eurozone’s largest economy took a break before the Christmas shopping season.
  • On the other hand, German unemployment rate held steady in November, indicating that the country’s labour market is holding up despite weakness in the manufacturing sector.
  • The eurozone’s consumer price index (CPI) surpassed market expectations in November, buoyed by a jump in food and services prices, despite a drop in energy costs.
  • The British pound began the week on the back foot as polls showed a tightening U.K. election race as a clutch of polls showed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party losing some of its lead ahead of the Dec. 12 election, adding uncertainty.

In early trade on Monday, the euro opened where it left off last week against the US dollar at $1.1018, while it has gained 0.2% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8533.