Lockdown DAY 25  07 HOURS  24 MINUTES

By the close of trade on Monday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.

  • The South African government announced that it would increase welfare provision to help poor households suffering because of the lockdown.
  • In the US, the Chicago Fed national activity index declined in March. Meanwhile, the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, stated that the US government was close to reaching a deal to replenish a roughly $350.00bn small-business recovery programme.
  • Trump suspends all future immigration to the US which will be carried out via executive order.
  • The US is monitoring intelligence that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave danger after a surgery.  The White House is closely studying the line of succession which is adding to the rumour mill that the North Korean president is in a coma.
  • China’s crude oil futures edged down 3 percent on Tuesday’s opening, following an overnight slide from a major US oil benchmark into unprecedented negative territory. Analysts say the historic drop in oil prices offers China, a major source of oil imports, a good opportunity to “bottom out” certain oil assets and scale up strategic reserves.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds dropped yesterday. The yield on 2021 bond declined to 4.31% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 10.29%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading marginally higher against the South African rand at R18.8596, while the euro is trading 0.3% lower at R20.4262.   The British pound has declined 0.2% against the South African rand to trade at R23.3840.

By the close of trade on Monday, the euro mostly advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • The eurozone’s seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened in February.
  • In contrast, the region’s producer price index (PPI) further dropped on an annual basis in March.
  • Meanwhile, the German Bundesbank, in its monthly report, announced that the nation’s economy is expected to stay in a severe recession in 2020 and noted that the recovery was unlikely to be “quick and robust” due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has slipped 0.3% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0831, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8735.

 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS MAP

2,469,325 confirmed cases

169,686 reported deaths

644,937 recovered

South Africa

Confirmed 3,300

Dead 58

Recovered 1,055

Last updated Apr 21, 2020