The Rand is tracking international currency movements, with the currency firming to 15.0500 levels last night, before slipping to close at 15.1750 late in New York. The Rand has underperformed versus its EM peers for the previous few days. The IMF lowered its growth forecasts for South Africa to 2.8% in 2021 and 1.4% in 2022, compared to the SARB’s 3.6% and 2.4% forecasts. The IMF further sounded a warning concerning government debt, SOEs’ costs, and expressed concerns over the vaccine roll-out in the country. The Rand has weakened this morning and is currently quoted at 15.2725.
Gold is trading marginally firmer at $1 845 today, and Platinum is lower at $1 075 while Palladium is firmer at $2 352. The Oil price is relatively flat today at $52.20 for WTI and $55.52 for Brent.
US Q4 GDP rose by 4.0% QoQ while Jobless claims were lower than forecast but new home sales disappointed. The Dollar closed weaker last night as risk sentiment improved, but is trading a touch firmer this morning. The DXY is up at 90.743 from last night’s 90.455 close, with the Dollar currently trading at 1.2099 against the Euro and 1.3705 against the Pound. US Treasury yields rose to 1.045% for the 10y bond and 1.80% for the 30y bond. Wall Street rebounded yesterday as the S&P and Dow were up around 1.0% and the Nasdaq up 0.5%, but US futures are heavily in the red this morning. Asian stocks are all in negative territory this morning. The local ALSI closed 0.67% higher at 63,207 yesterday. Overnight we saw that the Chinese Repo rate surged to the highest levels since 2015; this is due to the market fearing a liquidity squeeze in China. Should the repo market fall out of bed, we could see major volatility in the currency market.