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Market Commentary | The week that was

Sun City's solar shift leading the charge towards grid independence: Sun City resort, under Sun International, has saved R1 million in two months from its solar project. With 2,584 panels installed, plans to add 209 more will increase capacity to 1.56MW, covering up to 15% of the resort's energy demand. Due to national grid challenges, including Eskom's load shedding, the resort spent R5 million on diesel this year, thus pushing Sun City towards grid independence and a sustainable energy future.

Onions leave South Africans teary-eyed: Onion prices in South Africa have risen by 63% over the past year, the highest increase according to Bloomberg's Shisa Nyama Index, which tracks barbecue ingredient prices. High food inflation continues challenging consumers, with many adapting their buying habits. The surge in prices is due to volatile demand and reduced output.

Israel-Gaza tensions: The Israel-Gaza conflict revealed significant geopolitical divisions within the IMF and World Bank, overshadowing their annual meetings in Morocco. While conflict was a topic behind closed doors, public statements from major financial groups, including the G20, largely avoided mentioning it. Highlighting broader global tensions, such as the Russia-Ukraine situation and US-China disputes. Although the World Bank and IMF made progress in some areas, experts emphasize the need for them to address geopolitical crises due to their economic impact.

Markets: On 16th October, the South African rand traded at 18.95 against the US dollar, influenced by Middle East tensions affecting oil prices and weakening the dollar. Rand Merchant Bank analysts predict stability around the 19.00 mark for USD/ZAR. Rising Israeli-Hamas conflicts are escalating oil prices due to concerns over Iran's involvement. The 2030 government bond stood at 10.72%.

Week: On Wednesday, 18th October, China will disclose its real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures, South Africa will release both its headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation and retail sales numbers, the United Kingdom will announce its headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation data and the United States will reveal its retail sales figures. Concluding the week, Japan will release its headline inflation numbers on Friday.

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