The South African rand is surging

South African rand is surging.

The currency is up by 1.7% at 13.5850 per dollar as of 7:34 a.m. ET.

Earlier, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority said it is dropping fraud charges against finance minister Pravin Gordhan because he “did not have the requisite intention to act unlawfully,” according to Bloomberg’s Sam Mkokeli and Michaen Cohen.

A few weeks earlier, prosecutors issued Gordhan with a formal summons to appear in court on fraud charges in November. South Africa watchers noted that the announcement had political overtones and was seen as an attempt by President Jacob Zuma to remove one of the few ministers who has provided a check on his power.

As for the rest of the world, here’s the scoreboard as of 7:40 a.m. ET:

  • The euro is down by 0.4% at 1.0947 against the dollar after data showed that German retail sales fell 1.4% month-over-month in September, far below the expected 0.2% uptick. Separately, eurozone CPI rose 0.5% year-over-year in October, in line with expectations.
  • The Japanese yen is down by 0.3% at 105.08 per dollar. Earlier, industrial production was flat month-over-month in September, below expectations of a 1.0% increase.
  • The Russian ruble is down by 0.3% at 63.1720 per dollar, while Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, is down by 0.5% at $50.41 per barrel.
  • The US dollar index is up by 0.3% at 98.60. Personal income and spending will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, after which Chicago PMI and Dallas Fed manufacturing cross the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10:30 a.m. ET, respectively.
  • The British pound is down by 0.3% at 1.2157 against the dollar.

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