LOCKDOWN ADJUSTED LEVEL 3 Ver2 [ DAY 25]
Wave 2 NEW VARIANT
TOTAL DAYS 332 – 7 HOURS 30 MINUTES
Vaccine rollout day 19 / j & j VACCINE DAY 6
By the close of trade on Friday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.
- In the US, services PMI rose more-than-expected in February, while the domestic manufacturing PMI rose in line with market expectations in the same month.
- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is likely to emphasize a dovish message to Congress in his first testimony since Democrats took control of the Senate and White House. The U.S. central bank chief, due to speak this week just as lawmakers weigh President Joe Biden’s plan for $1.9 trillion in additional pandemic aid, will probably echo recent remarks that the Fed is fully committed to supporting the economy, with the labor market far from its full employment goal and inflation below its 2% target.
- It took seven years from the summer’s day in 2008 when a top U.S. diplomat first sat down with his Iranian counterpart until the two sides sealed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that aimed to keep Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. No one expects it to take as long to establish whether they can resuscitate the pact abandoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump, but U.S. and European officials say the journey will be lengthy and arduous, if, indeed, they even begin the trek. The Biden administration is deciding on sending a special envoy Rob Malley to Tehran.
- As power generation returns to the grid and lights turn on for millions of customers in Texas, the historic rolling blackouts, Arctic blast, and winter storms may have cost billions of dollars in economic damage. But the damage wasn’t limited to Texas, explained AccuWeather. The total damage and economic loss of the winter storms are estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars across the country.
- The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.11%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.92%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 8.88%.
In early trade on Monday 22 February 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R14.7227, while the euro is trading higher at R17.8466. The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.6388.
By the close of trade on Friday, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.
- British finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to increase a tax on business to pay for an extension to COVID-19 support schemes in the budget next month. Sunak, in his speech on March 3, will announce he is increasing corporation tax from 19 pence in the pound and will outline a pathway where it rises to 23 pence in the pound by the time of the next general election, the report said. The move will raise an expected 12 billion pounds ($16.8 billion) a year, the report added. According to the report, at least 1 pence is set to be added to the bill for business from this autumn.
- A surge in demand for exports pushed activity in Germany’s manufacturing sector to a 36-month high in February. However, lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic pushed the country’s services sector into a deeper contraction.
- Business activity across the eurozone contracted again in February, as lockdown measures to restrain the coronavirus hammered the bloc’s dominant service industry.
- The Chinese renminbi’s accelerating transformation from a sleepy backwater of the foreign-exchange market into a currency fit to rival global peers has traders setting aside concerns about how much further it can go without reform and buying into its ascent. In London — the world’s center of foreign exchange — there’s more yuan changing hands than ever before. Options on the Chinese currency exceed those referencing the Japanese yen, and buying or selling the yuan is now as cheap as trading the British pound.
- In New Zealand the Cabinet met on Sunday afternoon, to decide whether the risk of Covid-19 spreading has diminished enough for Auckland to move to alert level 1. Eight cases that had recently emerged had all been linked and close contacts of the mother of a family at the centre of the outbreak had all produced negative results, she said. Cabinet had decided to make face coverings mandatory in all public transport across NZ at levels one and two. People will be able to remove face coverings to eat or drink, but children under 12 are exempt, as are people with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering safely.
In early trade on Monday, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.2156, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8672.
As of today, the total number of confirmed COVID19 cases is:
1 502 367
The total number of deaths is 48 940
The total number of recoveries is 1 409 553
Total number of vaccines administered is 10 414.