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Market Commentary | The week that was

News from Russia is that the rouble has rebounded to pre-invasion levels, as it’s Central Bank also cut the interest rate by 3%, thereby decreasing it to 17%. After Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine in February the rouble started crumbling and Russia’s interest rate doubled to 20%. The Russian government also imposed strict limits on the amount of local currency that may be sold – banning transactions of more than $10,000.

In the US, Treasury yields experienced another spike last week on the back of hawkish comments by officials of the Federal Reserve Bank (FED). The FED made its intentions clear to act more decisively in order to reign in the 40-year-high inflation.

The South African reported on Friday (9 April) that US President Joe Biden and SA’s Pres Cyril Ramaphosa recently engaged in “telephone talks”. According to a statement, issued by the White House after the call, Pres Biden “emphasised the need for a clear, unified international response to Russian aggression in Ukraine”. The two leaders also discussed what the violence in Ukraine means for “food security” in South Africa. The phone call follows SA’s abstaining from voting in a United Nations (UN) resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. Very little information regarding the phone call was revealed in SA media.

Looking at the week ahead: The most important numbers to be released include key SA Manufacturing, Retail Sales and Mining data.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) will be closed on Friday and Monday due to the Easter Holidays.

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