LOCKDOWN LEVEL Ver 3.1 [DAY 29]
TOTAL DAYS 94 – 07 HOURS 05 MINUTES
By the close of trade on Friday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.
- The U.S. reported more than 45,000 cases of coronavirus on Friday, a record breaking increase, as some of the hardest-hit states begin to pause or roll back their reopening plans, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There were 45,255 additional Covid-19 cases reported across the nation on Friday, bringing the total to more than 2.46 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins data. As of Friday, the U.S. seven-day average of new cases increased more than 41% compared with a week ago. It was still above 40% on Saturday. The number of people infected with the coronavirus surpassed 2.5 million.
- China imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in Hebei province to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster on Sunday (Jun 28), as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated”. After China largely brought the coronavirus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighboring Hebei province in recent weeks.
- China wants to leverage blockchain to exert greater control over its citizens’ financial activities – an agenda that conflicts with bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s aim of decentralizing money. Capping all large transactions Nikkei Asia reported on June 27 that the country will now track all “large” transactions over RMB.
- Fitch Ratings stated that South Africa is unlikely to achieve its plans to stabilise debt levels within four years and as a surge in new COVID-19 cases overshadowed sentiment about the reopening of economies.
- In the US, consumer spending rebounded by the most on record in May, as consumers used government stimulus checks to deal with job losses during the pandemic. The Michigan consumer sentiment index dipped in June.
- The Fed’s annual bank stress tests indicated that US banks should preserve capital by suspending share repurchases and cap dividend payments in 3Q20, based on average net income over the past four quarters.
- The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.63%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.03% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.18%.
In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading 0.1% lower against the South African rand at R17.2849, while the euro is trading 0.2% higher at R19.4303. The British pound has gained 0.3% against the South African rand to trade at R21.3719.
By the close of trade on Friday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed the U.K. will spend large sums on hospitals, schools and roads to jump-start the economy as it emerges from the coronavirus lockdown that has plunged the country into what may be the worst recession in three centuries.
- The European Central Bank (ECB) President, Christine Lagarde, stated that the world may be past the worst of the coronavirus crisis but a return to the status quo is unlikely. The ECB has estimated that gross domestic product in the euro area fell 16.0% in the first two quarters of 2020. However, the central bank expects growth to pick up in the coming months as the eurozone economies reopen.
In early trade on Monday, the euro has advanced 0.2% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1242, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9091.
Below is a link to a very detailed Covid-19 picture giving stats and graphs.
- South Africans seem to be becoming fatigued and letting their guards down at a time when Covid-19 infections are expected to surge, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says. He made this remark in his daily statistics update on Sunday, saying the government had done its bit to mobilise resources for required interventions, but needed everyone to play their parts and adhere to recommendations regarding non-pharmaceutical interventions. “We do not have a vaccine. We do not have a cure. Our ability to break the cycle of infection depends on our willingness to remain focused and disciplined and take non-pharmaceutical interventions seriously,” Mkhize urged