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

  • New coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in record numbers swept through more U.S. states, including Florida and Texas, as most push ahead with reopening and President Donald Trump plans an indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. video Alabama reported a record number of new cases for the fourth day in a row on Sunday. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Carolina all had record numbers of new cases in the past three days. Many state health officials partly attribute the increase to gatherings over the Memorial Day holiday weekend in late May.
  • The US oil and gas labor market is amongst the world’s most severely hit by the downturn that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought.  More than 100,000 oil and gas jobs have already been lost in total, with most of them coming from the support activities market.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will deliver a cautionary message about the U.S. economy and COVID-19 when he appears twice this week on Capitol Hill. His remarks to lawmakers are widely expected to echo the mostly downbeat assessment he gave June 10 after policy-makers held interest rates near zero at a two-day meeting and signaled they’d probably stay there through 2022.  The Richmond Federal Reserve (Fed) Bank President, Tom Barkin, stated that the pandemic could have effects that last beyond the next couple of months and cautioned that some of the millions of jobs that have been lost during the viral outbreak may never return.
  • The largest wholesale food market in Beijing was shuttered behind police guard and the surrounding neighborhood locked down Saturday after more than 50 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the Chinese capital. The 2nd outbreak, coming more than 50 days after the last local case in the city of 20 million people showed how the virus can still come back as restrictions are eased. The city’s swift response reflected China’s emphasis on moving quickly to stem the spread of new cases wherever they appear, a lesson learned from fighting the outbreak earlier.  China’s fears of a second wave grip as 49 More Covid-19 Cases on June 14 (vs. 57 A Day Earlier)  10 New Imported Covid-19 Cases In Mainland (vs. 19 Day Earlier)  18 New Asymptomatic Cases In Mainland (vs. 9 Day Earlier)  Beijing Reports 36 New Cases.
  • On the data front, the preliminary reading of the Michigan consumer sentiment index registered a higher-than-expected reading for June, as reopening of the economy and the increase in the number of people returning to work buoyed the spirits of US households.
  • Further, the nation’s import price index rebounded on a monthly basis in May, marking its largest gain since February 2019.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly advanced on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.69%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.14%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue advanced to 9.21%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.7% higher against the South African rand at R17.1976, while the euro is trading 0.7% higher at R19.3539.    The British pound has gained 0.7% against the South African rand to trade at R21.5227.

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

  • Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands have signed a contract with Astrazeneca to supply European citizens with a vaccine against the coronavirus, Italy’s health minister said on Saturday. The contract is for 400 million doses of the vaccine, which was developed with the University of Oxford and whose experimentation phase is already advanced and expected to end in autumn.
  • The eurozone’s industrial output fell the most on record on an annual basis in April, as coronavirus-related lockdowns halted activity across the region.
  • Meanwhile in the UK, gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by a record in April, as entire sectors were shuttered by the coronavirus lockdown, in what looks likely to be the bottom of a “catastrophic” crash before a long and slow recovery.
  • The Australian and New Zealand dollars fell against their U.S. counterpart on Monday as fears of a second wave of the coronavirus in Beijing prompted investors to sell currencies sensitive to risk. The Chinese yuan also dipped in offshore trade after Beijing recorded dozens of new cases of the novel coronavirus in recent days, all linked to a major wholesale food market. The British pound declined against the greenback due to concerns trade negotiations between Britain and the European Union are not making enough progress.

In early trade on Monday, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1254, while it has gained 0.2% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8993.

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