The Reserve Bank seeks to diversify its currency exposure to help protect reserves from a potential rise in US Treasury yields.
The Federal Reserve's decision to hold on tapering plans will see happy days for emerging markets once again as JPMorgan upgrades its equities.
Gold has risen to the highest weekly gain since October 2011 after US Federal Reserve chairperson Ben Bernanke called for maintaining stimulus.
The United States Federal Reserve's final policy meeting of the year and a European Union summit will dominate the economic week ahead.
If governments take on private-sector debt created during the subprime crisis, the poor will be hardest hit, economist Iraj Abedian said in Cape Town on Tuesday. "Heaven help us if it happens in developing countries," he told a discussion on the global economic meltdown.
Oil prices were steady on Thursday after retreating from levels just cents below the record trading high established in the previous session on an unexpected drop in United States crude inventories. By afternoon in Europe, the contract was up 25 cents, fetching $111,12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The United States mortgage crisis has spiralled into "the largest financial shock since the Great Depression" and there is a one-in-four chance that it will cause a full-blown global recession, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Wednesday.
Despite sagging global growth, soaring oil prices and the threat of renewed turmoil hanging over share markets, Europe appears to have managed so far to weather the storm unleashed by the upheaval in the United States housing market and fears of a major world economic slump.
Oil prices rose on Monday in Asia as prospects for further cuts in United States interest rates seemed more likely after poor US jobs data at the end of last week. The US Labour Department said on Friday that employers cut payrolls by 80 000 jobs last month, many more than analysts had expected.
Oil prices slipped more than $1 a barrel on Monday as traders worried that the flagging United States economy would cause oil demand to soften. Oil's sharp decline started last week. Crude futures started plunging after the US Federal Reserve-backed sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase created fears of deeper economic problems.
An affiliate of United States-based buyout firm Carlyle Group has defaulted on about $16,6-billion of debt and expects its lenders to seize remaining assets as the global credit crunch tightens around leveraged investors. A "successful refinancing is not possible," Carlyle Capital said.
Asian and European stock markets plunged on Thursday as investor sentiment was hammered by resurgent credit concerns, the plunging dollar and record high oil prices, dealers said. Global financial markets were also roiled after a troubled fund backed by United States private equity giant Carlyle said it expected its creditors to seize its remaining assets.
Asian and European equities surged higher on Wednesday, mirroring an overnight rebound on Wall Street after major central banks announced a massive cash injection for stressed financial markets. However, dealers voiced scepticism over whether the concerted central bank action would head off the global credit crunch and bring stability to choppy world stock markets.
A global equities sell-off gathered speed on Friday as nervous investors were hit by growing United States recession fears, a plunging dollar and record oil prices, dealers said. European markets fell after sharp losses earlier in Asia and overnight on Wall Street following more bad news on the US subprime home-loan crisis.
Asian and European stock markets fell sharply again on Monday as investors worried about possible recession and a forthcoming interest-rate call in the United States, analysts said. The Paris market fell amid anxiety and tension after an alleged $7-billion fraud was unearthed last week at French bank SociÃ©tÃ© GÃ©nÃ©rale.
JÃ©rÃƒÂ´me Kerviel, a shy and introverted young city trader, lived on a tree-lined street in Neuilly-sur-Seine, the wealthy Paris suburb dubbed Sarkozyland in honour of its famous political son. Its yuppies live by Nicolas Sarkozy's mantra "work more to earn more".
Global share prices rocketed on Thursday, though fears of an economic slowdown lingered as SociÃ©tÃ© GÃ©nÃ©rale revealed a massive €4,9-billion fraud-related loss it attributed to one of its traders. Europe's leading share indices surged in morning deals, with gains of between 4% and more than 5% after a recovery on the Japanese market.
South African stocks were weaker at noon on Wednesday with miners under pressure on retreating metal prices, but the session was quiet as most traders are still away on a long weekend break. At noon, the JSE's broader all-share index was down 0,46%, with the gold and platinum mining indices down 1,47% and 1,65% respectively.
Heavyweight counters on the JSE's resource and mining indices pulled back sharply on Thursday morning, as commodity prices started to lose ground, traders said. The slump in commodity prices forced the JSE's broader all-share index to pull back 3,23% by noon.
Gold added $24,95, or 2,49%, to trade at $1 025,05 by 1.30pm on Monday -- this after rising more than 3% to a record $1 032,60 a troy ounce in overnight trade. Oil prices have also rallied in response to the dollar's weakness overnight with Nymex crude setting a fresh all-time high of $111,80.