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

  • The U.S reported some 30,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest number of daily infections recorded since May 1, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. New cases across the country are surging faster than ever, especially in states in the South, West and Midwest. Officials are warning that some clusters of infections are apparent among younger people who are crowding bars and parties. Arizona, Florida, California, Nevada and South Carolina reported record-high single-day increases in COVID-19 infections on Friday.
  • The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours. The UN health agency said Brazil led the way with 54,771 cases tallied and the U.S. next at 36,617. Over 15,400 came in in India. Experts said rising case counts can reflect multiple factors including more widespread testing as well as broader infection.
  • The deepening cold war between the US and China will be a bigger worry for the world than coronavirus, according to influential economist Jeffrey Sachs. The world is headed for a period of “massive disruption without any leadership” in the aftermath of the pandemic.
  • In the US, the Boston Federal Reserve (Fed) President, Eric Rosengren, stated that the US economy is not likely to have a fast recovery and more support will likely be needed from the Fed and Congress. The Federal Reserve announced that it would buy a “broad portfolio” of corporate bonds to go along with its ETF purchases. Because of the Fed’s actions, corporations will be able to borrow at lower rates.
  • On the data front, the US current account deficit slightly narrowed in 1Q20. In other news, reports indicated that China plans to accelerate purchases of American farm goods to comply with the phase one trade deal signed in January this year.
  • In SA, Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni’s supplementary budget is expected this week.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.63%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond ended flat at 5.06%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.21%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.1% higher against the South African rand at R17.3434, while the euro is trading 0.2% higher at R19.4068.  The British pound has gained 0.2% against the South African rand to trade at R21.4463.

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

  • Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier, health authorities said, a rate showing infections are rising above the level needed to contain the disease over the longer term. image The rise brings with it the possibility of renewed restrictions on activity in Europe’s largest economy – a blow to a country that so far had widely been seen as successful in curbing the coronavirus spread and keeping the death toll relatively low.
  • German producer price index (PPI) fell more-than-expected on a monthly basis in May.
  • In the UK, retail sales rebounded much more strongly than expected in May, as the country gradually relaxed its coronavirus lockdown.
  • Meanwhile, the 27 European governments have started negotiations on a proposal for €750.00bn to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

In early trade on Monday, the euro has advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1189, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9049.

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