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

  • New York Stock Exchange Traders on Monday morning were greeted by medical staff in scrubs and masks, ready to take their temperatures with digital thermometers as part of a stepped-up security measure aimed at keeping the floor open despite the coronavirus outbreak.
  • US stocks fell sharply on Monday amid continued worry over the sweeping economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P 500 dropped 8.1% within a minute after trading opened, triggering a 15-minute market-wide trading halt.  In overnight trading, futures on the S&P 500 hit a so-called limit-down circuit breaker, which prevents declines of more than roughly 5%.  This was a level 1 circuit breaker!
  • The Federal Reserve just did enough to rate a “very happy” by consistent critic President Trump. That alone tells you they fired a big gun.  The Fed will buy at least $700 billion of Treasuries and mortgages.
  • Consumer confidence in South Africa fell in 1Q20, driven by a decline in the time-to-buy durable goods.
  • In the US, NY manufacturing index plunged to its lowest level since 2009 in March, on account of coronavirus’ damaging impact on the US economy.
  • Members of G7 stated that they will do whatever is necessary to ensure a globally coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout and that they would marshal the full power of their governments to coordinate public health measures, restore confidence in the economy, support global trade and investment, and encourage cooperation in scientific research.
  • On the global front, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that the organization stands ready to mobilize its $1.00tn lending capacity to help countries lessen the blow from the coronavirus pandemic, including offering $50.00bn worth of loans to emerging and developing economies.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds ended mixed yesterday. The yield on 2021 bond declined to 5.89% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 10.68%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading 0.6% lower against the South African rand at R16.6000, while the euro is trading 0.6% lower at R18.5602.  The British pound has declined 0.7% against the South African rand to trade at R20.3532.

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

  • Italian consumer price index (CPI) fell on a monthly basis in February.
  • China has delivered a planeload of medical supplies, including masks and respirators, to help Italy deal with its growing Covid-19 crisis.   What’s hard to comprehend, however, is that Italy’s European Union partners have turned a deaf ear to its pleas for help. Italy is now the hardest-hit nation after China, with more than 1,800 deaths from Covid-19.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1180, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9119.

182,550 confirmed cases  [+13,066 New]

7,158 reported deaths [641 new deaths]

67,003 recovered* [No recoveries]

SA [64]

Last updated 8:07am Mar 17, 2020