These are the mid rates at 6:25 today:

USD = R18.39 AUD = R12.34
GBP = R22.98 DXY = 101.51
EUR = R20.22Brent Crude = $87.25 per barrel

Yesterday was all about the US inflation report and it didn’t disappoint with the Rand racing from R18.45 to the Dollar to R18.30 in an instant, but while the Dollar then stayed at its weaker level the Rand unfortunately gave up some gains as we drifted back to R18.40. 

Predictions for yesterday’s US CPI report called for their year-on-year number to fall from 6.0% to 5.1% and the month-on-month figure to fall from 0.4% to 0.2%, so it was welcome to see both beat expectations with decreases to 5.0% and 0.1% respectively.  The currency market’s reaction was clear with the Dollar Index plunging from 102.11 to 101.49 in an instant and allowing the Rand to hit R18.30 in double quick time.  All was well given that inflation fell more than forecast which adds further weight to the FED being close to their interest rate peak.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was marked by plunging energy prices and surging services prices. Food inflation slowed, and month to month actually dipped for the first time in nearly three years. But durable goods inflation month-to-month suddenly rose again, after having been negative for six months, reminding us that inflation is a game of Whac A Mole: Services without energy services: annual inflation jumped by 7.1% from a year ago, after the four-decade high of 7.3% in February, driven by housing, food services (food away from home) and auto insurance.

Federal Open Market Committee March 21-22, 2023. Before turning to other agenda items, the Chair asked the Vice Chair for Supervision to provide an update on recent developments in the banking sector. The Vice Chair for Supervision described the developments, including those at Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Credit Suisse. He also described actions taken by the Federal Reserve and other regulatory agencies in response. He noted that the U.S. banking system is sound and resilient. He also noted that he will be leading a review of the supervision and regulation of Silicon Valley Bank, and that the Federal Reserve System will apply what is learned.

U.S. Treasury yields eased on Wednesday, after a sharp fall earlier, as data showing cooler-than-expected headline inflation for March but still elevated core consumer prices suggested the Federal Reserve could still raise interest rates at the next policy meeting – but may pause after that. Minutes from the last Fed meeting had a dovish tone. Several Fed officials last month considered pausing interest rate increases until it was clear the failure of two regional banks would not cause wider financial stress. But those officials ultimately concluded high inflation remained the priority.

The March 2023 RICS UK Residential Survey continues to reflect a generally weak market backdrop, with indicators on demand, sales, new listings, and house prices all negative. Moreover, near-term expectations suggest this pattern will remain in place for a while longer amid the tighter lending environment.

Elon Musk has said running Twitter has been “quite painful”and “a rollercoaster”, in a last-minute interview with the BBC.The multi-billionaire entrepreneur also said that he would sellthe company if the right person came along. The interviewwas broadcast live from Twitter HQ in San Francisco, attractingmore than three million listeners.

Nearly four years after a devastating fire, the Notre Dame cathedral is finally rising from the ashes thanks to painstaking restoration work. Sculptures have been replicated, gargoyles are being cleaned and 2,000 oak trees have been felled across France to recreate parts of the 13th-century building.