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

  • U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers on Wednesday will publish their first economic projections since the coronavirus pandemic set off a recession in February, estimates expected to signal a collapse in output this year and near-zero interest rates for the next few years. They’ll also give shape to the range of views at the U.S. central bank about the expected speed of the recovery and any longer-term damage to the world’s biggest economy from a pandemic that has so far killed nearly 111,000 Americans here and prompted unprecedented restrictions on commerce and movement to slow its spread.
  • There was some good news in May’s jobs report with over 3 million private industry jobs being added after losing almost 20 million in April. While the official unemployment rate decreased from 14.7% in April to 13.3% in May, due to 4.9 million people being incorrectly classified the more accurate rate is 16.4% for May. This is still down from a more accurate rate of 19.5% in April (14.7% reported but 8.1 million people misclassified).
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly rose yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.60%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond ended flat at 5.12% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.09%.

In early trade on Wednesday, the US dollar is trading 0.1% lower against the South African rand at R16.6107, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R18.8435.   The British pound has marginally declined against the South African rand to trade at R21.1580.

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

  • Germany exported goods to the value of 75.7 billion euros and imported goods to the value of 72.2 billion euros in April 2020. Based on provisional data, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that exports decreased by 31.1% and imports by 21.6% in April 2020 year on year. That was the largest decline of exports in a month compared with the same month a year earlier since the introduction of foreign trade statistics in 1950. The last time German imports went down that much was in July 2009 during the financial crisis (-23.6%).
  • A majority of economists expect the Bank of Japan to leave its main policy tools untouched next week as it pauses to assess the steps already taken to shield the economy from the coronavirus. Some 72% of 47 economists expect the BOJ to keep policy unchanged at a two-day meeting ending June 16, according to a Bloomberg survey.

In early trade on Wednesday, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1344, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8906.

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