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

  • Positive news of a  COVID-19 vaccine and coupled to positive economic data were the main contributors that got investors moving.
  • The Federal Reserve is a lot more worried about the economy than the stock market or the president are. Officials and staff economists at the Fed caution that a second wave of recession could sweep over the country later this year if the coronavirus pandemic isn’t brought under control, according to a lengthy summary of the Fed’s policy meeting held on June 9-10
  • US House Passes China Sanctions as the Trump administration begin preparing global sanctions on China in connection to Xinjiang abuses.
  • On data front, the Absa PMI reached its highest level since August 2013, showing that conditions in the manufacturing sector reached a multiyear high in June.
  • In the US, private payrolls increased less-than-expected in June, indicating that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic would take a long time.
  • ISM manufacturing activity index rebounded in June, hitting its highest level in 14 months as the broader economy reopened.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.62%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.90% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.20%.

In early trade on Thursday, the US dollar is trading 0.1% lower against the South African rand at R17.0372, while the euro is trading marginally higher at R19.1846.  The British pound has marginally declined against the South African rand to trade at R21.2694.

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

  • On the data front, the eurozone manufacturing PMI unexpectedly rose in June, as economies in the bloc eased restrictions.
  • Germany’s manufacturing sector contracted at a slower-than-expected pace in June, as factories ramped up production after restrictions to constrain the spread of the coronavirus were lifted. Retail sales sharply rebounded in May, reflecting a rebound in private consumption.
  • Tokyo Confirms More Than 100 New Coronavirus Infection Cases On Thursday.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.1260, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9020.

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