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

  • Investors expressed caution about riskier assets, with tumbling oil prices and coronavirus outbreak.
  • President Xi Jinping on Tuesday made his first visit to the central Chinese city hit hardest by the new virus epidemic since the first cases of a then-unidentified respiratory illness emerged in December. The disease’s spread in China cast scrutiny on Xi’s leadership, as he was conspicuously absent from the public eye during the early days of the crisis. Initial failures to react quickly were pegged on municipal and provincial-level officials who have since been replaced.
  • The US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, stated that the government will hold news conference to discuss about economic measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Japan PM Abe: Will submit emergency measure package to parliament today, working on second virus emergency package, will work with BOJ on measures if needed
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose yesterday. The yield on 2021 bond advanced to 6.09% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.18%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading 0.9% lower against the South African rand at R15.9504, while the euro is trading 1.4% lower at R18.1764.  The British pound has declined 1.3% against the South African rand to trade at R20.8386.

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

  • Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says travel restrictions are being imposed nationwide to try to stop the spread of the spread of the new coronavirus. Conte said Monday night that a new government decree will require all people in Italy to demonstrate a need to work, health conditions or other limited reasons to travel outside the areas where they live. The restrictions will take effect on Tuesday and like those in northern Italy will last until April 3.
  • Seasonally adjusted German industrial output rose more-than-expected on a monthly basis in January.
  • Further seasonally adjusted German trade surplus narrowed less than market expectations in January.
  • On the contrary, investor morale in the eurozone plummeted to its lowest level since April 2013 in March, as the coronavirus epidemic raised the prospect of a long period of economic weakness.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has slipped 0.5% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1397, while it has gained 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8724.