The week was one of mixed news and some non-starters. After a lot of trade war rhetoric, the international market reacted in a relatively docile manner; there have still been no decisions regarding Brexit; and the rand gave up some of the week’s gains in the wake of Cyril Ramaphosa’s stimulus package.
- Starting from next week, Trump will impose tariffs on $200billion of Chinese goods. China retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion in US goods. China has been quite interesting in what they have chosen to place tariffs on, targeting goods from states that voted for Trump.
- President Trump has pulled the FBI into two political controversies this week. This has encouraged the agency to assert its independence.
- Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer, has provided “critical information” in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation.
- China plans to cut the average tariff rates on imports from the majority of its trading partners as soon as next month in a move that will lower costs for its consumers.
- At an informal Brexit summit in Salzburg, EU leaders said that they would like to see the Brexit debacle end in October but warned May that if she does not give ground on trade and the Irish border they are ready for a no-deal Brexit.
- In a historical agreement, North and South Korea have committed to an “era of no war.”
- The Justice Department is officially investigating whether Elon Musk’s tweet regarding Tesla’s trading status, was a way to intentionally boost Tesla’s stock.
- In a statement, Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that the economic stimulus package will reprioritise government spending within the existing fiscal framework to activities that will stimulate economic activity. Reforms are expected in the mining, telecommunications, tourism and transport sectors.
- The rand did not necessarily respond positivity to President Ramaphosa’s stimulus package announced today, giving up 1% against the US dollar from its intra-day high.
- Follow this link for an article analysing why Cyril Ramaphosa is not losing sleep over those trying to depose him.
- This week, the Zondo Commission revealed how ANC leadership intervened with major South African banks to save the Gupta bank accounts.
- The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development labelled South Africa the worst performer among its peers. Follow the link for some depressive reading.
- Tencent has gone from a very favourable investment (being one of the big performers last year) to being labelled the world’s most disappointing stock. Tencent’s value has plummeted over the year due to fears that the company cannot continue scaling its revenues.
- SA’s CPI unexpectedly slowed down to 4.9% year-on-year in August. Economists had expected CPI to rise to 5.2% year-on-year, according to a Reuters poll.
- The South African Reserve Bank kept repo rates unchanged, read the full statement here.