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The Rand weakened further during the early hours of yesterday morning but started to recover after almost reaching R17 to the Dollar. It continues to remain volatile.
The Rand and the coronavirus
The South African economy has slipped into
a recession for the second time in two years. This was confirmed when the GDP
growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2019 came in at -1.4%, which was worse
than the expected -0.4%. The second term of negative growth combined with the
new cases of coronavirus have severely impacted the Rand. Moody’s rating is due
later this month, and it’s looking less likely that South Africa will be kept
at investment grade.
Given the impact of the coronavirus, Moody’s has decreased the growth forecast for G20 countries for the first half of 2020 and anticipates that the virus will hurt economic growth in many countries. The Rand is one of the riskier assets within the G20 countries making it the first currency to be sold off by investors. Moody’s forecasts South Africa’s growth to be 0.4%, 0.3 percentage points lower than previously expected.
On Monday morning, the JSE dropped 6%
within minutes of markets opening. This is not just from the effects of the
coronavirus outbreak but also due to the conflict between Russia and Saudi
Arabia over the oil price.
Stage 2 load shedding has started again
today and it’s likely to continue until Thursday, potentially spelling more
trouble for the struggling Rand.
Tuesday 10 March
- European area GDP growth rate (YoY) 3rd
estimate for Q4: expected at 0.9%
- European area GDP growth rate (QoQ) 3rd
estimate for Q4: expected at 0.1%
Wednesday 11 March
- Australian Westpac consumer confidence change for
March: expected at -0.8%
- Australian Westpac consumer confidence index: expected
- UK balance of trade for January: expected at £-3.7
- UK Spring Budget 2020
- US core inflation rate (YoY) for February:
expected to stay at 2.3%
- US inflation rate (YoY) for February: expected
Thursday 12 March
- South African manufacturing production (YoY) for
January: expected at -2.8%
- South African manufacturing production (MoM) for
January: expected at 1.7%
Friday 13 March
- South African business confidence Q1: expected