LOCKDOWN LEVEL Ver 3.1 [DAY 25]

TOTAL DAYS 90 – 07 HOURS 05 MINUTES

Yesterday the rand weakened against the US Dollar.  In early trade on Thursday morning the Rand is trading at 17.44 to the Greenback.

  • On Wednesday, SA Finance Minister Tito Mboweni talked of the two gates.  The Wide gate and the Narrow gate.  The path through the wide gate leads to Sovereign debt and the narrow gate leads to recovery.  As the scripture quoted states, “only a few will find the narrow gate”.  The treasury projected the budget deficit would widen to 14.6% of GDP in the 2020/21 fiscal year, from a shortfall of 6.8% seen in February. Gross debt is set to rise to 81.8% of GDP in the current year from 63.5% in 2019, peaking at 87.4% under the treasury’s best-case scenario. The worst case sees debt breaching the 100% mark by 2023.
  • The stock market plunged on Wednesday as Wall Street grew increasingly concerned about a spike in new coronavirus cases impeding an economic recovery. • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 2.7%, over 700 points, on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 fell 2.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 2.2%. • Stocks accelerated their losses after the open, taking a hit from growing fears of a resurgence in coronavirus infections across the country as states lift lockdown orders. • New cases in the U.S. on Tuesday hit the highest level since April.
  • The University of Washington on Wednesday forecast nearly 180,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 by October 1 2020, as cases showed new signs of surging and the governors of three Northeast states ordered travelers from other parts of the country to quarantine upon arrival for 14 days.
  • China is adding a new face to its trade negotiation team by appointing its chief representative at the World Bank to head the Finance Ministry’s international cooperation department, Yang Yingming, who has been Executive Director for China at the World Bank in Washington since 2016, returns to the finance ministry  after Beijing and Washington try to completed a Phase 1 agreement.
  • The US announced that it was targeting USD 3.1bln of products coming from the EU and UK.  The proposed new tariffs targets amongst others GIN / BEER / POTATOES and TRUCKS.

In early trade on Thursday, the GBP is trading at 21.6413  and the EUR is trading at 19.6133.

  • In the UK, The government is not certain that the coronavirus R rate is below 1, meaning the disease may not be under control even as lockdown restrictions are being lifted across the UK.
  • Meanwhile economists believe the pound will get a limited boost from a Brexit trade agreement this year, as the virus continues to drag on the economy.  Both EU and U.K. leaders recognize that the last thing anyone needs right now is a disruptive no-deal Brexit.

 CURRENCIES

 ZAR/USD 17.40 (-0.25)

ZAR/GBP 21.65 (-0.14)

ZAR/EUR 19.61 (-0.11)

ZAR/AUD 11.98 (-0.31)

ZAR/JPY    0.16 (+0.01)

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

 https://www.covid19sa.org/