South Africa has been in a state of suspense for the week. Ramaphosa has been in negotiations with Zuma regarding Zuma’s departure but whether or not this will happen is unknown.
- The big news from the week has been the equity correction in the US. The S&P 500 and the Dow have fallen by 10.16% and 10.36%, respectively on the back of rising US interest rate fears. This is having a knock-on effect, impacting global markets, which have all had a volatile week. The rise in bond yields occurred upon news that wages in the US eventually started growing, which is likely to result in a pick-up in inflation and more than expected interest rate hikes from the Fed. It will be interesting to see if this market sell-off is temporary or more concerning.
- Congress has passed a funding bill in order to make the second governmental shutdown this year as short as possible.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May continues to hold a firm line on Brexit negotiations, telling her negotiating team to never compromise as she seeks a deal with Europe that would allow Britain many of the benefits of membership without the perceived political cost of losing sovereignty.
- Bitcoin traded below $6000 this week, from a high of $20k in December. It has since recovered slightly in excess of $8400
- The Winter Olympics has begun in South Korea, with a unified Korean team.
- Space X launched its Falcon Heavy on Tuesday with great success.
- The State of the Nation Address was suspended this week for the first time in South African history.
- South Africa has been in a state of suspense throughout the week with few details coming to the fore. There has already been one emergency NEC meeting called off this week, with another scheduled for Saturday. What Saturday’s meeting will bring remains a mystery, but let’s hope there is some closure.
- SA recorded another impressive trade surplus of R15.7 billion in December 2017. For 2017 as a whole, SA trade surplus totalled R80.5 billion compared a surplus of a mere R1.0 billion in 2016.
- SA petrol price decreases by 30c/l on Wednesday, 7 February 2018 as a result of rand strength.
- Naspers has dropped 27% since its lofty highs in November 2017.