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

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said big questions remain over the outlook for the economy, particularly in light of ongoing efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic. In remarks he will deliver Tuesday to the House Financial Services Committee, the central bank leader turned up concerns he had expressed earlier this month about growth as the U.S. remains mired in recession that began in February. “Output and employment remain far below their pre-pandemic levels. The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain and will depend in large part on our success in containing the virus
  • In the US, pending home sales rebounded by the most on record in May, suggesting that the housing market was starting to turn around after being hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic along with the rest of the economy.
  • The weekly U.S. jobless claims report shows that 11 million people are on a new federal aid program geared toward the self-employed, accounting for more than a third of total claims across the country. But that figure — cited by economists alongside traditional claims in regular state programs as helping provide a more complete picture of unemployment — likely overstates the true count.
  • Meanwhile, the Dallas Fed manufacturing index registered an improved reading for June.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.64%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.99% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.16%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading 0.1% lower against the South African rand at R17.2622, while the euro is trading 0.1% lower at R19.4067.   The British pound has declined 0.1% against the South African rand to trade at R21.2350.

By the close of trade on Monday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • Face-to-face negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU have begun in Brussels, after the teams pledged to “intensify” talks. It will be the first time the UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, and his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, have met in person since talks began in March, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • German inflation rose more-than-expected on a monthly basis in June.
  • The eurozone economic sentiment index advanced in June, with improvements across all sectors and a much more buoyant sense of future business.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1242, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9140.

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