Written Version Below:
• The much-anticipated Budget speech held on the 26th was surprising as the scare of increase in VAT and personal income tax was expected by most economists but was not introduced. Instead Minister Tito Mboweni delighted most with news of tax relief in sectors of personal tax and more ways of saving from government.
• The JSE All Share index gained 0.43% following the Budget speech, this was led by Investors celebrating the plans for government to reduce spending.
• European shares suffered their biggest drop since mid-2016 with news of coronavirus cases in Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran. This sent investors scrambling to find protection in gold and government bonds.
• Gold prices reached its highest level in seven years on Friday the 21st February as demand for safe-haven assets increased as a result of global sell-off in equities.
• As the virus now begins to spread through Europe, authorities are on high alert, especially with the rumours of the virus possibly spreading into the USA. The number of people killed worldwide by the coronavirus has exceeded 3 000.
• The US stock markets closed lower on the 29th down 0.80%, this marked the worst week performance since 2008.
• The rand extended its loses as the markets once again battled with a global sell-off sparked by further virus outbreaks around the world the dollar traded at R15.70 late Friday afternoon the 29th.
• Early March heralds the start of talks between Britain and the EU, and for now both sides are talking tough. Ireland believes it will be impossible to reach an agreement before year-end.