My dream has always been to travel to Antarctica on an ice breaker. The vastness of the continent fascinates me. Having read numerous books on exploration to the South Pole, this continent had strong appeal. Although we crossed the Antarctic Circle, we were nowhere near the South Pole. Certainly, we did it in style when compared to Shackleton, the famed National Geographic Explorer who was the first to start these journeys.
While Archie tries to predict when the next-door cat will stealthily appear in his garden, investors try to predict the Rand/USD exchange rate. It is difficult to say who is having more success!
On 3 September, the rand broke through the R15/USD for the first time in almost a month, lifted by positive local news. SA’s GDP rebounded by a surprise 3.1% in the second quarter, avoiding the shadow of recession.
However, predicting the performance of the Rand over the short term is notoriously difficult… and prone to significant forecast error. One factor that has remained relevant in the last 10-15 years has been the role of commodity prices. In general, if commodity prices go up, the Rand strengthens – and visa versa. This suggests that in the absence of other guiding factors, watching the performance of industrial commodity prices is key (though this does not include energy prices and precious metals such as gold). In short, industrial commodity prices moving up provides a good indication of impending Rand strength (and visa versa).
Good luck Archie!
Source: Analytics Consulting
I have always loved travel, and so I am thrilled to be adding some more travel articles to my blog. I think you will find this series of travel Q&A enjoyable, but also interesting, as we delve a little into how much things cost and how the economies in various countries are developing… or not.
This first Q&A is on Iceland… and how expensive a glass of wine is!
With all this talk about trade wars and tariffs, Archie is concerned that he will not be getting any more toys…
There is still no clear sign of a de-escalation of US-China trade tension. To the dismay of many leaders, President Trump is still defending his tariff strategy. On the bright side, Jay Powell, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has signaled that the Central Bank is ready to cut interest rates if trade wars do hit the world economy. Trump is claiming that the Chinese will pay for the tariffs – which remains a highly disputed and controversial assertion. In fact, companies are expected to pass the extra costs onto the consumer.
No wonder then, that Archie is suffering from mild bouts of Trump-related anxiety.