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Market Commentary | The week that was

South-Africa is bracing for a nationwide public sector strike, as unions rejected government's 3% wage increase proposal with a R1,000 gratuity payment till March. Four unions, representing over 800 000 public sector workers will announce their plan in the public wage talks on Monday.

Eskom and energy regulator Nersa’s is determining Eskom’s average tariffs for electricity for the next two financial years. They are meeting on Tuesday. It is anticipated that there will be recommendations to the regulator about the 32% increase in April 2023 and an additional 10% in 2024.

Nearly all indices were down during most of the first week of November, after rallying in October because investors were expecting a central bank turnaround that did not happen. For the fourth time, The Fed raised rates by 75bpts.

The week ended off better, after positive data being released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that disclosed the U.S. economy created 261,000 jobs in October, significantly more than the 200,000 jobs that were expected, according to Reuters poll of economists. This led to the South-African Rand and stocks closing at a high on 4 November, the Top-40 index closed 5.49% higher and the All-share index ended up 4.93%. On Monday (7 November), the rand was trading at R17.96/$, R17.86/€ and R20.37/£

China reiterated its zero-Covid policy over the weekend. On Saturday, the Chinese government said it would "unswervingly" stick to its strategy, which includes harsh lockdowns, strict quarantine and testing regimens for even the smallest numbers of cases.

In the week ahead: Around 80% of S&P 500 businesses having reported their earnings so far, this week we are expecting reports from The Walt Disney Company, AstraZeneca, BioNTech, and Norwegian Cruise Line, among others. China, on Thursday, will release updated credit numbers for October.

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