LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1 Ver4 [ DAY 7 ] Wave 2
TOTAL DAYS 272 – 06 HOURS 52 MINUTES
By the close of trade on Friday the Rand had strengthened against the Dollar.
- In South African the 2nd wave has struck harder and concerns over a new variant of Covid-19 has countries around the Globe scrambling. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reports that hospital beds are being used up faster than the first wave and that younger adults are reporting positive. Stay safe everyone.
- In the US, Janet Yellen once touted the benefits of a weaker greenback for exports, but as the incoming Treasury secretary, she faces pressure to return the U.S. to a “strong-dollar” policy and may cause trembles on Wall Street if she doesn’t. The greenback’s tumble this year it’s heading for the second-biggest drop in the past decade and a half has already stoked foreign policy makers’ concerns, thanks to the competitive advantage it gives the U S. Even a tacit endorsement of a weakening dollar could spur tensions with trading partners. Yellen, is President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Treasury chief.
- Congressional leaders on Sunday reached a mammoth deal to fund the government and provide long-sought coronavirus relief as lawmakers race to wrap up their work for the year. The deal will tie a $1.4 trillion bill to fund the government until Oct. 1 to roughly $900 billion in coronavirus aid. In order to give Congress time to process and finalize the agreement, it is expected to pass a one-day stopgap bill, with the House to take up the agreement on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the deal from the Senate floor on Sunday night.
- Netherlands will ban flights carrying passengers from the United Kingdom from Sunday as Britain detected a new coronavirus strain. A travel ban will remain in place until Jan. 1, the government said in a statement early Sunday, adding that it is monitoring developments and is considering additional measures regarding other modes of transport. Netherlands added that in early December, sampling of a case in the country had revealed the same virus strain as that found in the UK. In measures to control the spread of virus, government issued a “do not travel” advisory, unless it is absolutely essential. At the time of writing this report a further 9 countries had followed suit.
- Britain and the European Union will continue post-Brexit trade talks on Monday, but the negotiations remain difficult and significant differences remain, a senior British government source said on Sunday. “Teams have been negotiating throughout the day and expect to continue tomorrow. Talks remain difficult and significant differences remain,” the source said. “We continue to explore every route to a deal that is in line with the fundamental principles we brought into the negotiations.”
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. improved its outlook for the lira for a second month but said the Turkish central bank’s plan to rebuild reserves will probably even out the currency’s gains. After a shift in approach outlined by central bank Governor Naci Agbal, “markets are likely to give policy makers, but especially the lira, benefit of the doubt, given its roughly 15% nominal annualized carry, and the broader dollar bearish environment,” Goldman analysts led by Zach Pandl said in a report to clients.
- Progress on a U.S. stimulus package curbed appetite for the yen and Swiss franc, while concerns about the U.K.’s worsening virus outbreak and Brexit talks sent the pound lower. Moves were pronounced early Monday across currency markets, with the pound under pressure as “significant differences” remain in trade talks between the U.K. and the European Union. Congressional negotiators in the U.S. reached a compromise that may clear the way for a final agreement on a roughly $900 billion spending plan. The Aussie slipped amid new restrictions in Sydney due to a growing virus cluster.
In early trade on Monday 21 December 2020 the pairing were: