By the close of trade on Friday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.
- Further outbreaks of coronavirus around the world. Ed Hyman, a widely followed economist on Wall Street, said the coronavirus outbreak could end up causing a recession in the U.S. and slashed his U.S. GDP forecast to zero growth in the second and third quarters of this year “More cases are showing up in the U.S. and seem likely to be just the start,” Hyman said in his note titled, “U.S. Virus ‘Recession’” on Sunday.
- Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMIs) are a tally of how executives see their own company – whether business activity at their company rose or fell compared to the prior month, whether new orders rose or fell, whether they added or shed staff, etc. Executives and their companies remain unnamed. A value above 50 means expansion; a value below 50 means contraction. PMIs are an early indication of business conditions – and by extension, of the economy. And in China, both, the PMI for the non-manufacturing sector and the PMI for the manufacturing sector, released on March 1, have collapsed to unfathomable lows showing to what extent the measures to impede the spread of the coronavirus have shut down the economy.
- Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes on Sunday in an escalating offensive against the Damascus regime as Ankara pressured Europe over the conflict by opening its border for migrants to cross into the continent
- In the US, the Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, stated that the central bank will act as appropriate to support the economy in the face of risks posed by the coronavirus epidemic, though he said the economy remains in good shape overall.
- On the data front, goods trade deficit narrowed in January.
- On the contrary, the Chicago PMI rose to its highest level since August 2019 in February.
- Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to a near two-year high in February.
- Moreover, personal income advanced the most since February 2019, boosted by the annual cost of living adjustment for social security recipients and other government welfare programs.
- The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on 2021 bond advanced to 6.14% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.11%.
In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.3% lower against the South African rand at R15.6216, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R17.2617. The British pound has declined 0.2% against the South African rand to trade at R20.0386.
By the close of trade on Friday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.
- European shares ended the week down roughly $1.5 trillion in their worst weekly performance since the 2008 financial crisis as the rapid spread of coronavirus outside China saw sustained selling on fears of a recession.
- The World Health Organization warned that the virus had pandemic potential, and ratings agency Moody’s saying it would trigger a global recession in the first half of the year.
- Consumer price index (CPI) in Germany rebounded on a monthly basis in February.
In early trade on Monday, the euro has advanced 0.2% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1049, while it has gained 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8613.