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In the loop 26 March 2024

In the loop

Shireen Darmalingam

What you should know this morning:

  • The rand is stronger this morning, at R18.86/$, after closing stronger yesterday (R18.91/$*).
  • EM currencies were mixed yesterday; the ZAR (+0.6%), PLN (+0.6%) and BRL (+0.5%) were the biggest gainers; the RUB (-0.7%), TRY (-0.5%) and KRW (-0.3%) were the biggest losers.
  • Asian equity markets are mixed this morning; the Nikkei is up, while the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite are down.
  • The US Conference Board’s consumer confidence is likely to have increased to 107.0 in March, from 106.7 in February.
  • While layoffs are currently quite low, the US labour market is not improving significantly.
  • Consumers are thus likely to remain concerned about conditions in the labour market in the months ahead.
  • Higher food and energy prices remain a concern.
  • The US S&P CoreLogic home price index is expected to have increased by 6.7% y/y in January, after having increased by 6.1% y/y in December.
  • Low supply of homes has helped to push house prices higher.
  • However, homeowners are likely to lower asking prices as they head into the spring selling season.
  • The FHFA house price index, also due out today, is likely to have increased by 0.3% m/m in January, following a 0.1% m/m increase in December.
  • US durable goods orders, due out today, are expected to have improved by 1.0% m/m in February, from a 6.2% m/m decline in January.
  • An improvement is expected on the back of transportation orders.
  • Boeing received around 15 orders in February, significantly up from only 3 orders in January.
  • Excluding transportation, durable goods orders are likely to have increased by 0.4% m/m in February, after having declined by 0.4% m/m in January.
  • Sri Lanka’s central bank has unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 bps, to 9.5%.
  • The central bank noted that it is comfortable with inflation and the FX reserves position.
  • Nigeria’s central bank will announce its interest rate decision today and is expected to hike its benchmark rate by 125 bps, to 24.0%.
  • The elevated February inflation print will likely be the focus at the monetary policy meeting.
  • CPI increased to 31.7% y/y in February, from 29.9% y/y in January; expectations are for CPI to rise further.
  • Locally, the SARB’s leading indicator for January is on the cards today; the index slipped to 111.0 in December. 
  • The Q4:23 non-farm payrolls are also due out today; payrolls increased by 0.3% q/q in Q3:23.
  • Eskom: loadshedding has been suspended until 4pm, when Stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented. 
  • Brent crude is up this morning, and up by 12.7% year-to-date.
  • The gold price is down this morning, and up by 5.3% year-to-date.
  • Brent crude oil is currently at $86.81/bbl; ($86.75/bbl*).
  • Gold is at $2172/oz ($2174/oz*).
  • SA CDS 256bps*, Brazil 136bps* and Turkey 321bps*.
  • Yields: US 10yr at 4.24%*, German bund at 2.37%* and SA 10-year generic at 11.84%*, SA’s R2030 at 10.44%*.

* Denotes yesterday’s close.

Key events and data:

  • 08h00: Japan machine tool orders (February – final)
  • 09h00: SA leading indicator (January)
  • 11h30: SA non-farm payrolls (Q4:23)
  • 14h30: US durable goods orders
  • 15h00: US FHFA house price index (January), S&P CoreLogic CS home price index (January)
  • 16h00: US Conference Board consumer confidence index (March)

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