This week, the British Parliament voted against a ‘no-deal Brexit ’, American and Chinese leaders continue to quarrel over trade deal negotiations, the US Senate voted against Trump’s wall as some Republicans stood up to a bully, President Trump.
- After losing a number of votes earlier in the week, Theresa May has won a vote to extend the deadline for Brexit. The House of Commons voted 412 to 202 in favour of May’s motion. Now it is up to the EU to decide whether deferral is justified.
- According to Bloomberg, Brexit has already had severe economic consequences, amounting to an estimate of $1billion per week! In addition, five of the largest banks are moving at least $857billion in assets to Frankfurt to gain a continued guarantee of services between EU members.
- The US Senate voted against Trump’s wall. Trump reacted by tweeting, “VETO!” implying that he intends to use his first presidential veto and a diversion of Pentagon money from a number of national security programmes to pay for the wall’s construction.
- Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, had his prison sentence increased to 7-and-a-half-years on Wednesday. Additionally, he was indicted by a grand jury in New York on new charges of residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy, and falsifying business records. If convicted this could let to more jail time for Manafort.
- Asian shares rose amid reports of an US-Sino trade deal – Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by telephone with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the two sides have made further substantive progress on trade talks, Xinhua news agency said on Friday.
- After the tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash, many countries have grounded the Boeing 737 Max planes. Similarities have emerged in satellite-based tracking between the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes meaning that the planes will be grounded, pending investigation of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302’s black boxes.
- There has been a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. At least 49 people have been killed, and four people have been apprehended. In a press conference, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the suspects held “extremist views” that have no place in New Zealand or the world.
- Dynasty Funds have continued their strong run of recovery into March, with all our offshore and local funds having positive returns, in their respective currencies, for the month. The rand has weakened by 3% for the month-to-date, implying that the offshore performances are outperforming local.
- The rand recovered slightly after a trying week on new signs of a trade deal between China and the US – this ripened the appetite for risk, boosting emerging market currencies.
- The rand recovered to its strongest level of the week of R14.22 to the US dollar and subsequently traded at its weakest level of R14.54 today – this volatility implies that the rand lacks the necessary impetus to provide firm direction, resulting in instinctive reactions to news and events.
- Further load shedding from Eskom has put pressure on South African mining and manufacturing industries. Both these sectors contribute significantly to South Africa’s GDP mining accounts for 9% while manufacturing contributes 14%.
Source: Dynasty, Stanlib, Prescient, Daily Maverick, Moneyweb, Reuters, RMB, Aljazeera, and Bloomberg Markets, etc