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

  • China’s central bank pumped 900 billion yuan (about 129 billion U.S. dollars) into the financial system via reverse repos on Monday. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) injected 700 billion yuan into the market through seven-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 2.4 percent, and conducted 200 billion yuan of 14-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 2.55 percent.
  • The Federal Reserve Board said that the coronavirus outbreak presented a “new risk” to the economic outlook for the U.S. and warned of disruptions in global markets. “Because of the size of the Chinese economy, significant distress in China could spill over to U.S. and global markets through a retrenchment of risk appetite, U.S. dollar appreciation, and declines in trade and commodity prices.
  • An advance team of international experts led by the World Health Organization (WHO) has left for Beijing to help investigate China’s coronavirus epidemic.
  • The U.S. will temporarily suspend regular visa services in mainland China from Monday as the coronavirus epidemic leaves it with “limited staffing.” The U.S. embassy in Beijing and consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenyang may not be able to respond to requests on regular visa services but may make available some emergency appointments.
  • The US non-farm payrolls rose more than expected in January, with employment at construction sites increasing by the most in a year, indicating that the economy continued to grow at a healthy pace.
  • Average hourly earnings increased on an annual basis in January.
  • Labour force participation rate also ticked up surpassing market expectations in January.
  • Wholesale inventories fell more than expected in December, amid a broad decline in stocks, including motor vehicles. On the contrary, unemployment rate rose as more people entered the labour force in search of work.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on 2021 bond advanced to 6.52% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 8.86%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.3% lower against the South African rand at R15.0141, while the euro is trading 0.3% lower at R16.4459.  The British pound has declined 0.3% against the South African rand to trade at R19.3635.

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

  • The German industrial output suffered its biggest fall in December since 2009, suggesting the weakness in manufacturing that risks dragging Europe’s largest economy into contraction again.
  • On the other hand, the seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened in December.

In early trade on Monday, the euro has advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0953, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8494.