The SONA is now a show of the past and next up the Budget address in a weeks time. Cabinet reshuffle on the cards, what next?

Yesterday, the Rand punched through the 18.00 to the dollar. and as at 06h30 on Friday 17th February 2023 is trading at USDZAR 18.15

USD = R18.24  AUD = R12.46
GBP = R21.78  DXY = 104.41
EUR = R19.40Brent Crude = $84.30 per barrel

The dollar surged in early trade on Friday to hit a six-week high against a basket of currencies as a bout of resilient economic data out of the United States raised market expectations that more interest rate hikes were in the offing. Data on Thursday showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, while other data revealed that monthly producer prices increased by the most in seven months in January. The latest data releases gave the U.S. dollar a leg up, knocking sterling to a fresh six-week low of $1.1952 on Friday.

US consumer debt hit a fresh record at the end of 2022 while delinquency rates rose for several types of loans, the New York Federal Reserve reported Thursday. Debt across all categories totaled $16.9 trillion, up about more than $1.3 trillion from a year ago as balances rose across all major categories. Despite a decline in origination’s, mortgage balances increased to $11.9 trillion, up about $250 billion from the third quarter and about $1 trillion from a year ago.

Two of the Federal Reserve’s most hawkish policymakers signaled they may favor returning to bigger interest-rate hikes in the future, and said they saw the case for raising rates by a half-point at the central bank’s meeting earlier this month. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said Thursday she saw a “compelling economic case” for a 50 basis-point interest-rate hike at the Fed’s Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting, a view echoed by her St. Louis counterpart, James Bullard. Both officials also said policymakers need to be open to bigger rate hikes going forward if economic conditions warrant.

The energy shock stemming from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has prolonged and aggravated a sequence of unprecedented supply shocks. These shocks, combined with the reopening of the economy after the pandemic, have driven inflation in the euro area to persistently high levels. To prevent inflation from becoming entrenched, the ECB tightened its monetary policy stance decisively.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk says he might be ready to step down as head of the social media network by the end of 2023, when he imagines the company will be financially stable enough for him to appoint a new chief executive. “I think I need to stabilize the organization and just make sure it’s in a financially healthy place and that the product roadmap is clearly laid out,” Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

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