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

  • Tension between the US and China is mounting after Beijing moved to impose a new security law on Hong Kong.   The U.S. government will likely impose sanctions on China if Beijing implements national security law that would give it greater control over autonomous Hong Kong, White House National Security Advisor said Sunday
  • On Sunday evening, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that the whole of South Africa will move to level 3 lockdown from 1 June.  The speech was ominous in the addition of a new term “Hotspot” which the President announced could carry adjuster higher lockdown levels.  eThekwini and Ilembe are name as current hotspots.
  • Japan is set to lift the state of emergency in Tokyo, its surrounding regions and the northern island of Hokkaido on Monday as new virus cases tail off, NHK and other local media reported. Tokyo reported just two cases Saturday in the city of 14 million people, the lowest number of infections since the state of emergency was declared early last month.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.64%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.43% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.10%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.2% lower against the South African rand at R17.5813, while the euro is trading 0.3% lower at R19.1431.  The British pound has declined 0.1% against the South African rand to trade at R21.4053.

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

  • The European Central Bank (ECB) Chief Economist, Philip Lane, stated that low inflation could become more persistent in the current global environment and that price growth may deviate from central bank targets for longer periods.
  • Minutes from the ECB’s recent monetary policy meeting revealed that the governing council members would stand ready to expand the central bank’s flagship bond-buying response to the pandemic, if needed, to tackle economic and financial turmoil.
  • Britain’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, has authorized a plan to save strategically important companies.   Under the plan, the government would rescue companies in exceptional circumstances to save those whose failure would “disproportionately harm the economy.

In early trade on Monday the euro has slipped 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0889, while it has weakened 0.2% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8944.

 Below is a link to a very detailed Covid-19 picture giving stats and graphs.