USD = R18.10  AUD = R12.14
GBP = R22.06  DXY = 103.54
EUR = R19.48Brent Crude = $78.32 per barrel

The currency market has been relatively well behaved despite everything in the point above is an impressive feat, and if anything the Rand looks to have come out of this in a better position.  Powell raising the spectre of a 50bps hike was bad for us and the prospect of contagion in the banking sector was equally threatening, but the Silicon Valley Bank [SVB] fallout has been contained while at the same time giving the FED reason to contemplate the impacts of their aggressive policy tightening over 2022.  

The US jobs report showed slower wage growth while yesterday’s CPI reading fell from 6.4% to 6.0% and all of a sudden 50bps has vanished while the chatter is all about 25bps versus no hike at all. 

In a harsh blow to an already-reeling sector, Moody’s Investors Service on Monday cut its view on the entire banking system to negative from stable. The firm, part of the big three rating services, said it was making the move in light of three key failures that prompted regulators to step in Sunday with a dramatic rescue plan for depositors and other institutions impacted by the crisis.

The US Census Bureau will release the February Retail Sales report on Wednesday, March 15 at 12:30 GMT and as we get closer to the release time, here are the forecasts of economists and researchers of eight major banks regarding the upcoming data. Retail Sales in the US are expected at -0.3% year-on-year vs. 3.0% in January. Meanwhile, ex-autos is expected at 0.2% YoY vs. 2.3% in January.

Momentum is fading in the UK wage numbers, and this will be welcome news for the Bank of England. The uncertainty surrounding the US banking sector does question whether the Bank of England will hike by 25bp next week, and remember the bar for pausing hikes appears to be much lower in the UK than at the Fed or ECB judging by recent official commentary. The latest UK data show clear signs that wage growth might finally have peaked. While there were early hints of this in last month’s data, a moving average of the three-month annualised rate of regular pay growth

China’s economic activity strengthened in the first two months of the year as investment picked up and consumer spending recovered following the ending of Covid restrictions. Retail sales rose 3.5% from the same period last year, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday, reversing from a 1.8% drop in December. That was in line with economists’ predictions. Industrial output grew 2.4% in the two-month period, compared with 1.3% in December, missing economists’ forecasts of 2.6% expansion.

A Russian fighter jet downed a U.S. drone operating over the Black Sea on Tuesday, U.S. European Command said in a statement. “Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. James Hecker, commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. Before the collision, two Russian aircraft including the one involved in the collision harassed the drone, he said.