LOCKDOWN ADJUSTED LEVEL 3 Ver2 [ DAY 4]  

Wave 2 NEW VARIANT

TOTAL DAYS 294 – 07 HOURS 30 MINUTES

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

  • Ten Republicans sided with Democrats to impeach the president by 232-197. But his trial in the Senate will not happen until after Joe Biden, a Democrat, is inaugurated as the new US president next week. Trump, a Republican, is the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

The Democratic-controlled House voted on Wednesday after two hours of impassioned debate as armed National Guard troops kept watch inside and outside          the Capitol. The FBI has warned of possible armed protests planned for Washington DC and all 50 US state capitals ahead of Mr. Biden’s inauguration on 20 January.

  • In the US, the Federal Reserve (Fed) Vice Chair, Richard Clarida stated that the US central bank won’t raise interest rates until inflation reaches its 2.0% target.
  • The Fed’s beige book indicated that the US economic activity increased modestly in recent weeks, while a growing number of the Fed’s districts saw a drop in employment as a surge in coronavirus cases led to more business shutdowns.
  • On the data front, US consumer price index (CPI) increased solidly in December, amid a surge in the cost of gasoline.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 6.62%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.48%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.75%.

In early trade on Thursday, the US dollar is trading marginally lower against the South African rand at R15.2566, while the euro is trading lower at R18.5238.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R20.8026.

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

  • Negative interest rates are unlikely at the Bank of England (BoE) if the latest remarks from Governor Andrew Bailey and Pound Sterling’s response to them are anything to go by, although the matter is not decisively settled and at least some derivation of the controversial policy could yet be implemented. Sterling was vying for the top spot among major currencies for the week on Wednesday, with gains arising mostly after BoE Governor Bailey told the Scottish Chambers of Commerce on Tuesday that there’s “lots of issues” with using negative interest rates as a policy tool.
  • The eurozone industrial production was higher than expected in November, driven by a rebound in the output of intermediate and capital goods.
  • Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse after a junior coalition partner pulled out in the middle of the administration’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. Former premier Matteo Renzi said his party is quitting the coalition and attacked Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte for failing to do enough to tackle Italy’s problems. Renzi told reporters at a press conference in Rome that he considered it an act of “courage” to withdraw at such a time and said the country must do more to tackle problems from education to infrastructure as well as the coronavirus.
  • European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde pushed back on Wednesday against economic pessimism, arguing that a rebound will come as pandemic uncertainty declines and that Europe possesses all the tools needed to overcome the crisis. With much of the 19-member euro area in lockdown, Lagarde continued to predict a recovery, provided that economic restrictions can be lifted from the second quarter and the bloc can overcome a “laborious” start to vaccinations.
  • Japan’s core private-sector machinery orders rose 1.5 percent in November from the previous month for the second straight month of increase, government data showed Thursday, but the outlook remains uncertain amid the economic fallout from a resurgence of the novel coronavirus. Following a 17.1 percent expansion in October, the orders, which exclude those for ships and from electricity utilities due to their volatility, totaled 854.83 billion yen ($8.2 billion), according to the Cabinet Office. Machinery orders are seen as a leading indicator of capital spending.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.2166, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9005.

COVID NEWS:

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Provincial

https://mediahack.co.za/datastories/coronavirus/provinces/

Wow! World Cup winners after being in 7th position in World rugby rankings just 18 months ago. Today our rugby team sits on top of the World and the Rankings!

By the close of trade on Friday, the South African rand had regained earlier losses in the week and strengthened against the US dollar.

  • On the data front, South Africa’s seasonally adjusted Absa PMI continued to remain in contractionary territory in October, despite improvements in business activity and new sales orders.
  • Separately, ratings agency, Moody’s downgraded the outlook of South Africa’s credit rating from stable to negative. The tone seems to have been set by Moody’s announcement that they were only going to downgrade the outlook to ‘negative’ but keep us at investment grade for a while longer. The decision gives us (the Government) time to get their house in order and at least get going on the plans they laid out for Eskom at the MTBS. A final chance to turn things around and prove that South Africa has what it takes to make the change.
  • In the US, non-farm payrolls came in better than expected for October.
  • However, the ISM manufacturing PMI dropped during the same month.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on 2020 bond advanced to 6.92% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue rose to 8.55%.

On Monday in early trade, the US dollar is trading 1.3% lower against the South African rand at R14.8373, while the euro is trading 1.3% lower at R16.5720. At 06:00 SAST.    The British pound has declined 1.3% against the South African rand to trade at R19.2019.

By the close of trading on Friday, the euro mostly advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • Market participants still look for clarity on Brexit developments.

In early trade on Monday, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1170, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8633.

 RWC – The Final:

The Boks scrum was no doubt the hammer blow the decimated the English from the get go.   The Boks won 5 penalties off this facet of the game.

 I had openly made mention in the leadup to the game that Wyllie Coach Rassie Erasmus must have something up his sleeve, and did he just!  The kicking game that got us to the final was suddenly gone, with Faf de Klerk kicking only twice in the first half.  England were caught completely off guard!

 The Bok defense has proven to be the best in World rugby.  There just was not a hint of a crack even when England were pressing on the Bok tryline deep into the 1st half.

 For the Boks it’s a fairy tale.  Played in 3 World Cup finals and have a perfect win record [3/3].   It was also fitting that the two try-scorers were wingers.   Chester Williams and James Small, the two starting wingers in the 1995 final against New Zealand, both passed away earlier this year and would no doubt have been proud to witness Saturday’s heroics.

Bok fans will cherish fact that South Africa’s two try-scorers – Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe – wore Nos 11 and 14 on their backs respectively…

 At the awards evening on Sunday evening in Tokyo:

  • Rassie Erasmus was named as Coach of the Year, 
  • Springboks were named Team of the Year 
  • Pieter-Steph du Toit was named as World Player of the Year.
  • The Springboks won 10 out of 12 Tests
  • Scoring 424 points and 52 tries and conceding only 138 points and 10 tries – only four of them in seven matches at the Rugby World Cup.
  • Statistically, it was the most successful Springbok season since 1998 when the team was in the middle of a 17-match winning streak.

 World Rugby rankings

  1. South Africa 94.19
    2. New Zealand 92.11
    3. England 88.82
    4. Wales 85.02
    5. Ireland 84.45
    6. Australia 81.90
    7. France 80.88
    8. Japan 79.28
    9. Scotland 79.23
    10. Argentina 78.31

On Thursday in late trade, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.

  • Investors continued to ponder on the South African Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni’s medium-term budget policy statement.
  • Meanwhile, market participants keenly look forward to the latest review by Moody’s Investors Service on the country’s sovereign credit rating.
  • On the data front, South African producer price index (PPI) rose less-than-expected on a monthly basis in September.
  • In contrast, trade surplus widened during the same month.
  • In the US, the Chicago PMI dipped in October.
  • Further, the number of Americans newly applying for jobless benefits ticked up in the week ended 26 October.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds ended mixed yesterday. The yield on 2020 bond declined to 6.89% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue rose to 8.50%

On Friday in early trade, the US dollar is trading 0.3% lower against the South African rand at R15.0539, while the euro is trading 0.2% lower at R16.8067.   The British pound has declined 0.2% against the South African rand to trade at R19.5080.

On Thursday in late trade, the euro has mostly advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • The eurozone’s consumer price index (CPI) came in line with market expectations on an annual basis in October.
  • Meanwhile, the region’s 3Q19 gross domestic product (GDP) defied market expectations of a slowdown and remained steady on a quarterly basis.
  • German retail sales rose less-than-expected on a monthly basis in September, suggesting that private consumption is losing steam in the eurozone’s largest economy. In contrast, preliminary reading of French CPI dipped in October and Italian unemployment rate rose in September.

On Friday in early trade, the euro has advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1164, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8615.

Technical:

USD to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 15.2819 15.4592
Low 14.5706 14.5613
Average 14.8767 14.9870
Volatility 0.76% 0.7%

MUR to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 0.41971 0.42951
Low 0.39853 0.39818
Average 0.40832 0.41313
Volatility 1.01% 0.96%

CNY to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 2.14687 2.19521
Low 2.06121 2.05723
Average 2.09708 2.11293
Volatility 0.76% 0.68%

AUD to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 10.4123 10.4511
Low 9.96527 9.96527
Average 10.1199 10.1766
Volatility 0.74% 0.59%

EUR to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 16.8544 17.2457
Low 16.1718 16.1278
Average 16.4599 16.5905
Volatility 0.78% 0.8%

USD to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 15.2819 15.4592
Low 14.5706 14.5613
Average 14.8767 14.9870
Volatility 0.76% 0.7%

GBP to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 19.5471 19.5471
Low 18.5592 17.9166
Average 18.8532 18.5729
Volatility 0.81% 0.74%

RWC

Today Wales and New Zealand clash to determine 3rd and 4th place in the tournament.   New Zealand were beaten by South Africa and finished 4th at the 1999 World Cup.   Could this happen again and New Zealand bottom out at 4th place?

Meanwhile World Rugby have announce 6 players for the prestigious 15s Player of the year award.  They are:

Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa), Tom Curry (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa), Ardie Savea (New Zealand) and Joe Taufete’e (USA).

The Games for the weekend are:

 Wales vs New Zealand

Tokyo Stadium

Fri 01 Nov 11:00 (SAST)

 South Africa vs England

International Stadium Yokohama

Sat 02 Nov11:00 AM (SAST)

On Wednesday morning, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.  Like the fast and furious movie “Gone in 60 seconds” the small gains in early trade were blown away!

  • South African Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, stated that the budget deficit is set to be two percentage points higher on average over the next three years.
  • He announced no set plans to restructure Eskom’s R450.00bn debt. The minister said the ailing power utility could receive further funding, provided it meets certain operational requirements.
  • The greenback lost ground, after the Fed slashed the key interest rate by 25 basis points to a target range between 1.50% and 1.75%, but dropped a previous reference in its statement to “act as appropriate” to support the economic expansion.
  • On the data front, 3Q19 US gross domestic product (GDP) slowed less than expected, as declining business investment was offset by resilient consumer spending and a rebound in exports.
  • Further, the ADP national employment report for October showed a modest acceleration in private sector job growth, boosted by gains in the service sector.

The yield on benchmark government bonds rose yesterday. The yield on 2020 bond advanced to 6.95% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue rose to 8.43%.

In early trade on Thursday morning, the US dollar is trading 0.3% lower against the South African rand at R14.9645, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R16.7148.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R19.3545.

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

  • On the data front, the eurozone’s economic sentiment indicator registered its weakest reading since 2015 in October, suggesting the region’s economy is struggling.
  • The region’s consumer confidence index dropped in line with market expectations during the same month.
  • In Germany, the jobless rate held steady in October. However, the number of people out of work increased in seasonally adjusted terms, suggesting that a manufacturing crisis in the eurozone’s largest economy is spilling over into the labour market.
  • Consumer prices index (CPI) rose on a monthly basis in October.
  • French GDP defied forecasts for a slowdown in 3Q19.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro has advanced 0.2% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1169, while it has weakened 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8636.

RWC

Siya Kolisi will lead the team out for the 20th time as he becomes the eighth player in the 23 to have won 50 caps.    Kolisi has the opportunity to follow in footsteps of Francois Pienaar and John Smit by becoming the third Springbok captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

It would be achieved on the occasion of his 50th cap: Pienaar did it on his 21st appearance and Smit on his 74th.

  • 1995   Johannesburg
  • 2007   Paris [12 years later]
  • 2019   Tokyo [ 12 years later?]

Coach Rassie Erasmus named the now familiar six-two split on the bench to field a settled line-up, 22 of whom will be appearing together for the fourth time in the tournament.

England have named an unchanged starting side that beat New Zealand.  The lone change to England’s match-day 23 is on the bench where scrumhalf Ben Spencer, who only arrived in Japan on Monday, replaces the injured Willi Heinz.

Teams:

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Francois Louw, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

England

15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jonathan Joseph

The final kicks off at 11:00 (SA time) on Saturday.

In the 3rd and 4th playoff on Friday, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen urged his dejected players to show character and bounce back from their Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat against England when they take on Wales in the third-place playoff.

New Zealand, who won the last two World Cups, are heading into a game that no one wants to play on Friday and Hansen said it presented his team with an unusual challenge.

New Zealand

15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Jordie Barrett

Wales

15 Hallam Amos, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 James Davies, 6 Justin Tipuric, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Wyn Jones, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Hadleigh Parkes

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

  • Minerals and Energy minister, Gwede Mantashe briefed about the Integrated Resource Plan which shows the South African government’s plans to meet electricity demand.
  • The greenback lost ground as the Conference Board’s index of leading indicators fell for a second month, suggesting the economy grew more slowly in September.
  • The Federal Reserve (Fed) Vice Chairman, Richard Clarida, stated that the US economy is facing “evident” risks, while inflation remains muted.
  • Minneapolis Fed President, Neel Kashkari, stated that he supported further interest rate cuts, citing that the monetary policy should be somewhat accommodative given the risks to the economic outlook.
  • The Dallas Fed Bank President, Robert Kaplan, stated that he is agnostic whether Fed might cut interest rate and warned about the tightening of conditions in future.
  • Kansas City Fed President, Esther George, stated that cutting interest rates now to insure against risks to growth could also lead to overheating and endanger financial stability with already-elevated debt levels, potentially causing economic harm later and opposed the further rate cut.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2020 bond declined to 6.87% while that for the longer-dated 2026 issue fell to 8.23%.

On Monday in early trade, the US dollar is trading 0.2% lower against the South African rand at R14.7583, while the euro is trading 0.3% lower at R16.4703.   The British pound has declined 0.7% against the South African rand to trade at R19.0582.

On Friday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • On Saturday, British Lawmakers voted to withhold a decision on Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s deal, a move that forced him to seek from the European Union a further extension of Britain’s departure from the bloc.

On Monday in early trade, the euro has slipped 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1161, while it has gained 0.4% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8643.

Sports wrap:

The Boks brought the curtain down on the Brave Blossoms run at their World Cup.  The Bok pack laid the foundation for the victory as they eventually sucked the life out of Japan.

Coach Rassie Erasmus’ game plan proved effective in keeping the game a slow as possible and not playing to fast-paced Japan’s strengths.

It looks like there is a bit of head scratching needed in the No 15 slot with incumbent Willie Le Roux having a nightmare 1st half.  Coach Erasmus does have many options at his disposal.

England vs Australia

Wing Jonny May produced a quickfire double and captain Owen Farrell was perfect with the boot as England stormed into the World Cup semi-finals Saturday with a thumping 40-16 win over Australia.

May celebrated his 50th England cap with his 26th and 27th tries in Oita, while Farrell kicked 20 points for England, who equalled their biggest ever margin of victory against their fierce rivals and move on to face either New Zealand or Ireland in the last four.

Fears England could come into the match undercooked, after their final pool game against France was washed out by last week’s devastating typhoon, ultimately proved unfounded.

 England 40 (17)

Tries: Jonny May (2), Kyle Sinckler, Anthony Watson

Conversions: Owen Farrell (3)

Penalties: Farrell (4)

 Australia 16 (9)

Try: Marika Koroibete

Conversion: Christian Lealiifano

Penalties: Lealiifano (3)

New Zealand VS Ireland

Aaron Smith scored a brace of tries as defending champions New Zealand thrashed Ireland 46-14 on Saturday to set up a mouth-watering World Cup semi-final against England in Yokohama next weekend.

The All Blacks, seeking a third successive World Cup title, scored three first-half tries to all but end the game as a contest, going on to add four more in the second period.

Pivot Richie Mo’unga contributed 11 points with the boot to extend New Zealand’s record World Cup winning streak to 18 games, stretching back to their 2007 quarter-final defeat by France.

New Zealand 46 (22)

Tries: Aaron Smith (2), Beauden Barrett, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, George Bridge, Jordie Barrett

Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (4)

Penalty: Mo’unga

 Ireland 14 (0)

Tries: Robbie Henshaw, Penalty Try

Conversion: Joey Carbery

Wales VS France

Substitute Ross Moriarty snatched a late winner as Wales floored 14-man France in a breathless Rugby World Cup quarter-final with echoes of 2011 on Sunday.  A moment of madness cost France dearly in Oita after lock Sebastien Vahaamahina was sent off for elbowing Aaron Wainwright nine minutes into the second half with his side leading by nine points.   Wales, paced by 10 points from flyhalf Dan Biggar’s perfect boot, face South Africa in the semi-finals next weekend after surviving a scare against the swashbuckling French, who led until the 74th minute.

Still haunted by the memory of a stinging 9-8 semi-final loss to France eight years ago, the Six Nations champions looked decidedly uncomfortable until Vahaamahina’s rush of blood undid all the hard work the three-time finalists had put in.

Wales

Try: Aaron Wainwright, Ross Moriarty

Conversions: Dan Biggar (2)

Penalties: Bigger (2)

 France

Tries: Sebastien Vahaamahina, Charles Ollivon, Virimi Vakatawa

Conversions: Romain Ntamack (2)

South Africa VS Japan

The Springboks shattered Japan’s dreams of reaching the World Cup semi-finals with a pulsating 26-3 victory in Tokyo Sunday to set up a blockbuster last-four clash with Wales.

A double from wing Makazole Mapimpi broke the hearts of the Brave Blossoms, whose run to the knock-out stages has earned respect around the rugby world and lit up the first World Cup held in Asia.

The Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 1995 and 2007 and are hoping the “rule of 12” extends to 2019.