By the close of business on Thursday, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • On the data front, South Africa’s producer price index (PPI) on an annual basis in April slowed to its lowest level since 2013.
  • Equities consolidated on Thursday as the deluge of negative COVID-19 headlines were overshadowed by reports that US regulators will relax the Volcker Rule and allow banks to increase investments into venture capital funds and free up capital that would have otherwise been dedicated to derivatives trades. Risk aversion is in full swing with currencies extending their slide on Thursday after the US reported its single biggest increase in COVID-19 cases ever.
  • Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the U.S. economy will not shut down again, even as a surge of coronavirus cases threatens the country’s economic recovery.
  • In the US, number of people filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected for the week ended 19 June, signalling a slowdown in US labour-market improvement.
  • The US Senate approved legislation on Thursday that would strengthen the administration’s ability to sanction those violating China’s commitments to Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.
  • More than a million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, signaling that pandemic-induced layoffs remain highly elevated even with the US economy reopening. US weekly jobless claims totaled 1.5 million in the week that ended Saturday, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was slightly higher than the consensus economist estimate of 1.3 million, according to Bloomberg data. It’s the second week in a row in which weekly jobless claims have been higher than economist estimates.
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) for 1Q20 declined in line with market expectations in 1Q20. Durable goods orders rebounded more-than-expected in May, but manufacturers are likely to struggle to make a more rapid recovery amid a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus and a depressed global economy.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds ended mixed yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.56%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.97%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue remained steady at 9.16%.

In early trade on Friday, the US dollar is trading marginally higher against the South African rand at R17.1513, while the euro is trading marginally higher at R19.2435.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R21.3028.

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

  • Data showed that German consumer morale improved in July, as restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus started being lifted.
  • Meanwhile, the European Central Bank’s (ECB) latest monetary policy meeting minutes revealed that policymakers observed that government bond purchases under the pandemic emergency purchase programme and asset purchase programme were an effective tool in the current environment.

In early trade on Friday, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.122, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9034.

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


 SA recorded its highest number of coronavirus infections – 6 579 – in 24 hours bringing the number of infections to 118 375.

The total number of deaths is 2 292 – 2 from Gauteng, 15 from KwaZulu Natal, 17 from Eastern Cape from 53 Western Cape.

The number of recoveries is 59 974 which translates to a recovery rate of 50,7%