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

Optimism about a global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic boosted riskier assets, with investors looking past Sino-US trade tensions.

  • Today Elon Musk and his Space X Falcon 9 and Crew of Dragon will lift off from Launch Complex 39A – the same place Saturn V launched humanity to the Moon and from where the first and final Space Shuttle missions lifted off.  Weather permitting, the launch is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. EDT Wednesday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
  • The Trump administration is considering a range of sanctions on Chinese officials, businesses and financial institutions over Beijing’s effort to crack down on Hong Kong, according to people familiar with the matter. The Treasury Department could impose controls on transactions and freeze assets of Chinese officials and businesses for implementing a new national security law that would curtail the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong citizens.
  • Meanwhile, Roger Baxter, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of industry body, The Minerals Council, stated that mining output in South Africa could fall by 8.0%-10.0% this year due to the pandemic.
  • In the US, the Chicago Fed national activity index sharply fell in April, recording its worst reading since it began tracking in 1967. On the contrary, new home sales unexpectedly rose on a monthly basis in April.
  • Consumer confidence nudged up in May, suggesting that the worst of the novel coronavirus-driven economic slump was likely in the past as the country starts to reopen.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.65%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.40% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.01%.

In early trade on Wednesday, the US dollar is trading marginally lower against the South African rand at R17.3928, while the euro is trading 0.2% lower at R19.0634.  The British pound has declined 0.1% against the South African rand to trade at R21.4326.

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

  • The British Pound was one of the better performing major currencies on Tuesday amidst a broad based improvement in investor sentiment and rumours of a potential breakthrough in trade negations between the EU and the UK.
  • German consumer morale slightly improved in June, suggesting that the eurozone’s largest economy is slowly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has slipped 0.2% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0961, while it has weakened 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8895.

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