Declining Covid-19 infections in the US, as well as larger stimulus expectations, has raised hopes of a faster economic recovery in the US and fueled risk appetite. EM currencies are trading on the front foot and the Rand reached its short-term 14.5000 target on Friday before closing at 14.5492. The Rand is currently trading at 14.5020 in quiet Asian markets. A sustained break below 14.5000 would open a possible move to 14.3500 in the short term although the Rand is getting into overbought territory and we could see a correction at some stage.
Gold and Palladium are trading flat at $1 824 and $2 390, but Platinum has risen to a 6 year high this morning, trading at $1 284. Platinum’s surge is driven by supply concerns as demand is expected to increase. Oil is stronger this morning with WTI up 2.15% at $60.75, and Brent up 1.71% at $63.50. Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, an Arctic cold snap in the US as well as upbeat growth prospects in the US are behind the rise in the Oil price.
Janet Yellen called on G-7 leaders to “go big” on additional stimulus to boost economic recovery as Joe Biden pushes hard to get his $1.9 trillion pandemic package through the legislature. The Dollar is weaker this morning at 1.2141 against the Euro and 1.3901 against the Pound with the DXY falling to 90.341. US Treasury yields are higher at 1.21% for the 10y and 2.011% for the 30y. Wall Street closed in the green on Friday while Asian-Pacific stocks are up this morning. The JSE’s All-share index ended positive last week at 66.132. US markets are closed today for the President’s Day holiday.