These are the mid rates at 6:30 today:

USD = R18.48  AUD = R12.33
GBP = R22.93  DXY = 102.37
EUR = R20.11Brent Crude = $84.77 per barrel

As speculation of a looming recession continues to circulate that won’t stop the world’s super rich from splashing the cash.  The record for the most expensive number plate ever sold was broken over the weekend with R280m paid for the number “P7” in Dubai.  Crazy stuff…  

Welcome back after a well deserved four day weekend!!!  The Rand didn’t have an extended break as the Dollar Index moved over Friday and Monday, and unfortunately it moved against us as we find ourselves at R18.48 going into this shortened week. 

With very little to report on the local front the Rand has been taking its direction from international headlines and the bad news is that those headlines have been Dollar positive over the Easter Weekend.  The March banking crisis wasn’t that long ago and when the panic eased the market decided that the resultant tighter lending conditions in the US would help the FED in cooling inflation, and as such bets that the FED would choose between 25bps and no hike in their May policy meeting sat at a 50/50 call.  The Dollar Index fell to two month low of 101.40 as recently as last Wednesday, but Friday’s jobs report has changed all that. 

Traders raised the odds of another quarter-point rate increase by the Federal Reserve in May in the wake of strong employment data released Friday during a holiday-shortened session. Swap contracts referencing Fed meeting dates repriced to levels indicating more than 80% odds of the US central bank raising its policy rate range to 5%-5.25% on May 3. The May contract’s rate increased to just over 5.03%, a level 20 basis points higher than the effective policy rate has been since the last increase. 

The International Monetary Fund lined up against former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers in the debate over where interest rates will gravitate to once inflation is beaten. In its latest World Economic Report, the IMF argued that rates in the US and other industrial countries will revert toward the ultra-low levels that prevailed prior to the pandemic, driven by aging populations and sluggish productivity growth.

The surprise huge new cut in oil production from ‘OPEC+’ the Saudi Arabia-led OPEC group of countries ‘plus’ Russia highlights that any optimism over a possible rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and its previous key superpower ally, the U.S., is ill-founded. Instead, newly emboldened by the Beijing-brokered Saudi Arabia-Iran deal to resume relations, followed by the approval of a plan to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as a ‘dialogue partner’, Saudi Arabia has now decisively shifted into the China-Russia sphere of influence.

Australia is to suspend it WTO dispute against China on barley. Australia and China have reached an agreement for the resolution of dispute. China has agreed to undertake a review of duties imposed on Australian barley.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (Goldman) for violations of the CFTC’s Business Conduct Standards applicable to swap dealers. Specifically, the CFTC found that Goldman failed to disclose dozens of pre-trade-mid-market marks (PTMMM), in violation of Regulation 23.431, and failed to communicate to clients in a fair and balanced manner based on principles of fair dealing and good faith, in violation of Regulation 23.433.

China’s consumer inflation eased last month, data released on Tuesday showed, while producer prices remained in deflation. The consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.7 per cent in March from a year earlier, down from 1 per cent growth in February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.