LOCKDOWN DAY 32 06 HOURS 55 MINUTES

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

  • South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced plans to gradually restart the economy.
  • Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its outlook for South Africa’s local banking system for the first time this year, stating that the sharp deterioration in the economy because of the coronavirus outbreak will lead to a rise in bad loans, as customers struggle to stay afloat.
  • In the US, durable goods order plunged in March, due to decline in demand for big-ticket items such as new cars and trucks as the coronavirus swept across the country. In contrast, the Michigan consumer sentiment index unexpectedly rose in April, as people pondered about the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of the economy re-opening.
  • The White House on Monday suspended daily coronavirus task force briefings but said they would resume later in the week as the focus shifts to the economic reopening phase in the fight against the novel coronavirus. The pause in the briefings follows a tumultuous few days after the Republican president’s musings on Thursday on whether injecting disinfectants might be a treatment for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus.
  • After unleashing the most aggressive programs to support markets and the economy in its history, the Federal Reserve is likely to pause any additional initiatives until it has more information about how those moves are working and what lies ahead.  The coronavirus pandemic will cause the global economy to shrink 4% in 2020, according to a Bloomberg Economics estimate that assumes a recovery starts in the second half of the year. The economy has “entered a downturn of unprecedented speed and severity, with most advanced economies facing their weakest performance since the Great Depression.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds ended mixed on Friday. The yield on 2021 bond declined to 4.16% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 10.93%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading 0.1% higher against the South African rand at R18.8257, while the euro is trading 0.1% higher at R20.3847.   The British pound has gained 0.1% against the South African rand to trade at R23.3740.

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

  • Data showed that German business morale for April plunged to its lowest level ever recorded, as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to send Europe’s largest economy into a deep recession.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.0827, while it has gained 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8721.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS MAP

3,026,346 confirmed cases

210,094 reported deaths

892,872 recovered

South Africa

Confirmed 4,793

Dead 90

Recovered 1,473

 IT’S INCREASINGLY LOOKING LIKE THE ETHEKWINI METRO WILL NOT MAKE THE TRANSITION TO LEVEL 4.  THE BELOW GRAPHIC IS WHAT WE WOULD BE ALLOWED TO DO SHOULD WE REACH LEVEL 4.