LOCKDOWN DAY 17  06 HOURS 29 MINUTES

 By the close of business on Wednesday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.

  • South Africa’s consumer price inflation slowed to its lowest level since December on an annual basis in March, making room for more interest rate cut relief in the COVID-19 ravaged economy.
  • In the US, the Senate unanimously approved nearly $500.00bn to replenish funds for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Economists are anticipating that a Thursday report from the Labor Department will once again show that millions of Americans filed for unemployment claims in the week ending April 18, as coronavirus layoffs persist. The median consensus estimate for weekly unemployment insurance claims is 4.5 million, according to Bloomberg data.
  • The dollar pushed ahead against the currencies of oil producers on Thursday as a rebound in crude prices from an unprecedented collapse only partially calmed markets unnerved by the massive coronavirus-led drop in global demand. The euro held steady against the greenback and the pound ahead a of meeting of European Union officials on the bloc’s response to the economic turmoil caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
  • The recent liquidity crisis in the $17 trillion U.S. Treasury market has exposed structural problems that are unlikely to be fixed any time soon, which could lead to new bouts of volatility and make it more costly for the U.S. government to sell bonds. The bond market all but broke down in March as businesses shut to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, stoking fears about an economic downturn.
  • Activity in Japan’s economy marked a record decline in April, reflecting the hit on demand at home and abroad from the coronavirus pandemic and as a state of emergency was declared nationwide. A gauge of Japan’s service sector activity slid to a record low of 22.8, according to preliminary purchasing managers data.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds ended mixed yesterday. The yield on 2021 bond declined to 4.17% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 10.67%.

In early trade on Thursday, the US dollar is trading 0.1% higher against the South African rand at R19.0391, while the euro is trading marginally lower at R20.5840.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R23.4751.

By the close of trade on Wednesday, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • A preliminary reading of the eurozone’s consumer confidence index deteriorated in April. In the UK, CPI dropped on an annual basis in March, as oil prices tumbled and the coronavirus crisis escalated.
  • Meanwhile, a European bloc official stated that it might take the European Union countries until the summer or even longer to agree on how exactly to finance aid to help economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic as major disagreements persist.

In early morning trade on Thursday,  the euro has slipped 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0811, while it has weakened 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8768.

 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS STATS

2,622,637 confirmed cases

182,818 reported deaths

708,798 recovered

South Africa

Confirmed 3,635

Dead 65

Recovered 1,055

 Tonight President Ramaphosa is expected to address the Nation as we all wait to hear the “plan” to end the lockdown and what the month of May will look like.

Last updated Apr 23, 2020