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

  • Minerals and Energy minister, Gwede Mantashe briefed about the Integrated Resource Plan which shows the South African government’s plans to meet electricity demand.
  • The greenback lost ground as the Conference Board’s index of leading indicators fell for a second month, suggesting the economy grew more slowly in September.
  • The Federal Reserve (Fed) Vice Chairman, Richard Clarida, stated that the US economy is facing “evident” risks, while inflation remains muted.
  • Minneapolis Fed President, Neel Kashkari, stated that he supported further interest rate cuts, citing that the monetary policy should be somewhat accommodative given the risks to the economic outlook.
  • The Dallas Fed Bank President, Robert Kaplan, stated that he is agnostic whether Fed might cut interest rate and warned about the tightening of conditions in future.
  • Kansas City Fed President, Esther George, stated that cutting interest rates now to insure against risks to growth could also lead to overheating and endanger financial stability with already-elevated debt levels, potentially causing economic harm later and opposed the further rate cut.
  • 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 8.23%.

On Monday in early trade, the US dollar is trading 0.2% lower against the South African rand at R14.7583, while the euro is trading 0.3% lower at R16.4703.   The British pound has declined 0.7% against the South African rand to trade at R19.0582.

On Friday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • On Saturday, British Lawmakers voted to withhold a decision on Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s deal, a move that forced him to seek from the European Union a further extension of Britain’s departure from the bloc.

On Monday in early trade, the euro has slipped 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1161, while it has gained 0.4% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8643.

Sports wrap:

The Boks brought the curtain down on the Brave Blossoms run at their World Cup.  The Bok pack laid the foundation for the victory as they eventually sucked the life out of Japan.

Coach Rassie Erasmus’ game plan proved effective in keeping the game a slow as possible and not playing to fast-paced Japan’s strengths.

It looks like there is a bit of head scratching needed in the No 15 slot with incumbent Willie Le Roux having a nightmare 1st half.  Coach Erasmus does have many options at his disposal.

England vs Australia

Wing Jonny May produced a quickfire double and captain Owen Farrell was perfect with the boot as England stormed into the World Cup semi-finals Saturday with a thumping 40-16 win over Australia.

May celebrated his 50th England cap with his 26th and 27th tries in Oita, while Farrell kicked 20 points for England, who equalled their biggest ever margin of victory against their fierce rivals and move on to face either New Zealand or Ireland in the last four.

Fears England could come into the match undercooked, after their final pool game against France was washed out by last week’s devastating typhoon, ultimately proved unfounded.

 England 40 (17)

Tries: Jonny May (2), Kyle Sinckler, Anthony Watson

Conversions: Owen Farrell (3)

Penalties: Farrell (4)

 Australia 16 (9)

Try: Marika Koroibete

Conversion: Christian Lealiifano

Penalties: Lealiifano (3)

New Zealand VS Ireland

Aaron Smith scored a brace of tries as defending champions New Zealand thrashed Ireland 46-14 on Saturday to set up a mouth-watering World Cup semi-final against England in Yokohama next weekend.

The All Blacks, seeking a third successive World Cup title, scored three first-half tries to all but end the game as a contest, going on to add four more in the second period.

Pivot Richie Mo’unga contributed 11 points with the boot to extend New Zealand’s record World Cup winning streak to 18 games, stretching back to their 2007 quarter-final defeat by France.

New Zealand 46 (22)

Tries: Aaron Smith (2), Beauden Barrett, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, George Bridge, Jordie Barrett

Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (4)

Penalty: Mo’unga

 Ireland 14 (0)

Tries: Robbie Henshaw, Penalty Try

Conversion: Joey Carbery

Wales VS France

Substitute Ross Moriarty snatched a late winner as Wales floored 14-man France in a breathless Rugby World Cup quarter-final with echoes of 2011 on Sunday.  A moment of madness cost France dearly in Oita after lock Sebastien Vahaamahina was sent off for elbowing Aaron Wainwright nine minutes into the second half with his side leading by nine points.   Wales, paced by 10 points from flyhalf Dan Biggar’s perfect boot, face South Africa in the semi-finals next weekend after surviving a scare against the swashbuckling French, who led until the 74th minute.

Still haunted by the memory of a stinging 9-8 semi-final loss to France eight years ago, the Six Nations champions looked decidedly uncomfortable until Vahaamahina’s rush of blood undid all the hard work the three-time finalists had put in.

Wales

Try: Aaron Wainwright, Ross Moriarty

Conversions: Dan Biggar (2)

Penalties: Bigger (2)

 France

Tries: Sebastien Vahaamahina, Charles Ollivon, Virimi Vakatawa

Conversions: Romain Ntamack (2)

South Africa VS Japan

The Springboks shattered Japan’s dreams of reaching the World Cup semi-finals with a pulsating 26-3 victory in Tokyo Sunday to set up a blockbuster last-four clash with Wales.

A double from wing Makazole Mapimpi broke the hearts of the Brave Blossoms, whose run to the knock-out stages has earned respect around the rugby world and lit up the first World Cup held in Asia.

The Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 1995 and 2007 and are hoping the “rule of 12” extends to 2019.