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

  • In the US, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index surprisingly dropped in October. On the trade front, the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin state that the US was close to finalising parts of a trade pact with China.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2020 bond declined to 6.85% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue fell to 8.15%

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading marginally lower against the South African rand at R14.6251, while the euro is trading marginally higher at R16.2067.  The British pound has declined 0.1% against the South African rand to trade at R18.746.

By the close of trade on Friday, the euro declined against most of the major currencies, after the release of disappointing economic news from Germany.

  • Germany’s IFO business climate came in broadly unchanged while the current assessment index fell to its lowest in three years in October, suggesting that a 3Q19 slowdown could stretch into the closing months of the year.
  • On the Brexit front, the European Union agreed to the UK’s request for a Brexit deadline extension, but set no new departure date, giving Britain’s parliament time to decide on Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s call for a snap election.

In early trade on Monday morning, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1082, while it has gained 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8646.

RWC

Springboks into the final, WOW!  The Springboks won the 1995 & 2007 World Cups that was a 12 year gap between Web Ellis trophy being lifted up high and World Championship glory.   We now find ourselves 12 year on in 2019 and could the script have been better written.

The two semi-finals were completely different, a rampant England on the charge and in the faces of the All Blacks, who in the end could not hold out as Eddie Jones’ men.  England marched into the Final with oodles of confidence. England’s ball retention was a sight to behold against New Zealand but, sadly, the South Africa v Wales game was nothing more than a dull kicking marathon.  Wales kicked 41 times from hand and South Africa 40 times.

Overall, the Springboks proved just a tad too physical for the gallant Welsh. The Boks dominated at scrum time and troubled Wales with a few dominant driving mauls – including a telling one which set up the final match-winning penalty.

The Bok defense again proved vital – they made 147 tackles (11 missed) compared to Wales’ 74 (16 missed) and here the team’s unsung defense guru Jacques Nienaber deserves credit.

Physicality, solid set-pieces and staunch defense are of utmost importance in Rugby World Cup finals and it will stand the Boks in good stead against England.

This week England will hold the favorite tag but the Boks wont mind this.  The Boks have arguably the best set piece and defense in the tournament and with a flyhalf whose boot can prove red-hot, they’ll back themselves.

The South Africans also proved in recent times against New Zealand how dangerous they are when written off and will by no means be overawed by the occasion…  3rd and 4th playoff is set for this Friday [Wales vs New Zealand].  The last time New Zealand came 4th in the world cup was in 1999 where SA beat them in the playoff at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.