Month end, wow the year is certainly flying by!

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

  • President Donald Trump said he would hold a news conference “on China” on Friday, but he offered no details as to what he would say. Even without any details, Trump’s announcement Thursday at the White House was enough to send markets tumbling.  The governments of the U.S., Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement Thursday reiterating their “deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong,” after China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress passed legislation Thursday that could greatly curtail democratic freedoms. The new law, imposed without the consent of Hong Kong’s elected Legislative Council, would ban activities such as “splitting the country, subverting state power” as well foreign interference in Hong Kong.
  • In the US, number of people filing for unemployment benefits rose more-than-expected for the week ended 22 May. The US economy contracted at an even faster pace than initially estimated in 1Q20, reflecting weaker investment by businesses.
  • Durable goods orders fell less-than-expected in April, offering a fresh sign of how the coronavirus crisis has hammered the US economy.
  • The New York Federal Reserve (Fed) Bank President, John Williams, stated that the central bank has “more powerful” tools than negative interest rates which are more effective and more powerful to stimulate the economy.   The U.S. economy has likely bottomed, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday, but a healthy rebound depends on a massive increase in testing so that people feel comfortable resuming traveling, dining out and other pre-crisis activities.
  • U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 13.0 million barrels per day during the week ending May 22, 2020 which was 87,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 71.3% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased last week, averaging 7.2 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.8 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.2 million barrels per day last week, increased by 2.0 million barrels per day from the previous week.
  • South Africa’s producer price index (PPI) slowed on a monthly basis in March, sliding to a four-month low, in part due to lower fuel prices.

In early trade on Friday, the US dollar is trading 0.2% lower against the South African rand at R17.4734, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R19.3765. The British pound has declined 0.2% against the South African rand to trade at R21.5429.

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

  • Japan’s jobless rate rose and the availability of jobs fell in April, government data showed on Friday. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6% in April, up from 2.5% in March, figures from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed. The median forecast was 2.7%.
  • In Japan draft rules and regulations that prescribe the application of the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act, 12 industries including defense, aviation, space, nuclear power, and cybersecurity are designated as core industries. When foreign investors purchase the stock of Japanese manufacturers with technology that can be used for military purposes, or invest in electricity, gas, communications, and other infrastructure companies, they previously had to notify the government beforehand when acquiring a stake of 10% or more. With the revision of the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act, however, this threshold will now be reduced to 1% or more.
  • The eurozone economic sentiment index came in less-than-expected in May, when governments began easing the coronavirus lockdowns.
  • Services sentiment further deteriorated in May.
  • German consumer price index (CPI) fell in line with market expectations on a monthly basis in May.

In early trade on Friday, the euro has advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1089, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8994.

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



USD to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 18.9187 19.2637
Low 17.3510 15.2687
Average 18.2298 17.8013
Volatility 1.09% 1.27%

EUR to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 20.8571 20.8571
Low 19.0996 17.0074
Average 19.8826 19.4846
Volatility 1.18% 1.3%

AUD to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 12.0815 12.1867
Low 11.4871 9.91291
Average 11.8453 11.2762
Volatility 0.77% 1.18%

MUR to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 0.47416 0.48522
Low 0.43514 0.40950
Average 0.45649 0.45220
Volatility 1.3% 1.4%

CNY to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 2.67897 2.71593
Low 2.42252 2.20031
Average 2.56905 2.51969
Volatility 1.06% 1.2%

GBP to ZAR Stats

Stats Data Last 30 days Last 90 days
High 23.5590 23.6064
Low 21.2805 19.6544
Average 22.4361 22.0063
Volatility 1.05% 1.37%