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Market Commentary | The week that was

SA BRICS Summit to go ahead: President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that the upcoming BRICS summit will proceed as an in-person meeting, despite the outstanding arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The situation presents a diplomatic quandary for South Africa, as a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and as such, would be bound to apprehend Putin if he enters the country. The 15th BRICS summit will be held in Johannesburg from 22 to 24 August 2023. The summit will be attended by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The summit will focus on the potential of BRICS to counter U.S. dominance in the global economy.

Top Executives exit Binance: One of the largest cryptocurrency firms, Binance, is grappling with a wave of legal investigations worldwide, facing lawsuits from two US financial regulators and is reportedly being investigated by the Justice Department for money laundering and sanctions violations. Binance's strategy chief and compliance executive cited personal reasons for their resignations on Twitter. Other executives have also reportedly left the company recently. The executives' departures are linked to CEO Changpeng Zhao's handling of these allegations, according to reports. Despite the significant growth in 2021, the industry suffered setbacks such as the FTX exchange collapse and criminal charges against its executives, eroding public trust and prompting investors to withdraw their funds.

Markets: The rand saw little change against the dollar on Friday, trading at around 18.80 to the dollar. This was after the rand had fallen by more than 2% on Thursday, following the release of the US Federal Reserve's June meeting minutes, which showed that the Fed is likely to continue raising interest rates in an effort to combat inflation. On Monday, the rand was trading at R18.76/$, R20.57/€, and R24.21/£. Brent crude is trading at $77.69 a barrel.

Looking ahead: April's mining and manufacturing data will be released this week. US CPI numbers are out on Wednesday and Chinese trade data on Thursday.

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