LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3 [DAY 1]
TOTAL DAYS 66 – 07 HOURS 56 MINUTES
By the close of trade on Friday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.
- Investors waited to hear the latest US response to China tightening its control over the financial hub, Hong Kong.
- America’s cities boarded up windows, swept up glass and covered graffiti Sunday as the country’s most significant night of protests in a half-century promised to spill into another day of unrest fuelled by killings of black people at the hands of police. The turbulence sparked by the death of George Floyd — a black man who died after being pinned under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer — shook not only the streets of New York and Los Angeles, but dozens of smaller communities such as Fargo, North Dakota, and Lincoln, Nebraska.
- China has been rapidly rolling out its Belt and Road Initiative to build new roads, ports and rail lines in mostly developing nations, extending the country’s reach across continents. China says the infrastructure will benefit countries while critics say China is extending unfair influence over others. Many nations have been rethinking their involvement amid accusations that China has overpriced projects. Between 2000 and 2017, the world’s debt obligations to China rose from $500bn to a staggering $5 trillion. Now factor in the following question, “How do you make $1.7 trillion disappear”? A trade war is one way, a new report has found. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York adds to previous findings that, despite pronouncements from the White House, Americans are paying — and paying stiffly — for the U.S.-China trade war.
- China’s factory activity fell back slightly in May, showing that while the recovery from coronavirus lockdown is continuing, challenges remain, according to new data released on Sunday.
- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a Group of Seven summit he had hoped to hold next month until September or later and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India. Trump was aboard Airforce One as he returned from a successssful launch of the Private Public Partnership between NASA and Space X. The Falcon 9 rocket named Dragon, carrying US astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have docked with the International Space Station (ISS). Thid was the resumption of manned commersially built space rockets in 9 years from American soil. The two astronaughts joined the crew of 3 aboard the ISS in what is now the final phase of multiple flights to near earth orbit flights in preperation to placing a forward operating base on the moon over the next decade.
- Local data showed that South Africa surprisingly recorded a trade deficit in April.
- On the data front, consumer spending sharply declined for the second straight month in April, while personal income unexpectedly rose during the same period, boosted by government coronavirus relief payments to households.
- The Michigan consumer sentiment index unexpectedly fell in May.
- The US goods trade deficit widened in April, as exports tumbled, driven by the collapse in shipments of motor vehicles and parts.
- The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.65%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.24% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.90%.
In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.7% lower against the South African rand at R17.4319, while the euro is trading 0.3% lower at R19.4161. The British pound has declined 0.2% against the South African rand to trade at R21.6197.
By the close of trade on Friday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.
- Britain is easing restrictions on people’s movements too soon as infections continue to surge, according to two of the government’s scientific advisers. England is expected to see between 40 and 80 ongoing deaths a day even without a second wave, based on present numbers scientists have warned.
- German retail sales fell less-than-expected on a monthly basis in April, due to a surge in supermarket and online shopping.
- The eurozone inflation rose at the slowest pace since June 2016 on an annual basis in May as energy prices tumbled. Further, French inflation eased to its lowest level in four years in May as a drop in energy prices accelerated.
In early trade on Monday, the euro has advanced 0.3% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1138, while it has weakened 0.2% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8981.
Below is a link to a very detailed Covid-19 picture giving stats and graphs.