Vaccine rollout day 38 / J & J VACCINE DAY 26     

By the close of trade on Tuesday 9th March 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • Data released showed that the South African economy grew more than expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. The seasonally adjusted GDP rose more than expected in 4Q20.
  • China’s factory gate prices rose at the fastest pace since November 2018 in February as manufacturers raced to fill export orders, raising expectations for robust growth in the world’s second-largest economy in 2021. The producer price index (PPI) rose 1.7% from a year earlier, National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Wednesday, compared with the median forecast for a 1.5% rise from a Reuters poll of analysts and speeding up from a 0.3% pickup in January.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.68%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.40% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.48%.

In early trade on Wednesday, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R15.3472, while the euro is trading higher at R18.2355.  The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R21.2867.

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

  • Johnson & Johnson has told the European Union it is facing supply issues that may complicate plans to deliver 55 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the bloc in the second quarter of the year, an EU official told Reuters. Any delay would be a further blow to EU’s vaccination plans, which have been hampered by bumpy supplies from other vaccine makers and a slow rollout of shots in many member states. J&J told the EU last week that issues with the supply of vaccine ingredients and equipment meant it was “under stress” to meet the goal of delivering 55 million doses by the end of June
  • Data released showed the eurozone economy contracted more than previously estimated in the 4Q20 against the previous quarter, as household consumption plunged because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • German trade surplus widened in January, driven by rise in exports.  After two weeks of muted debt purchases by the European Central Bank in the face of a global bond selloff, some strategists are starting to get worried. Data on Monday showed the ECB settled 11.9 billion euros ($14.2 billion) of net buying under its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program last week, even when yields on German debt rose to levels last seen since the outbreak of the pandemic. The amount follows a similar size of purchases in the prior week, well below the average purchase pace of 18 billion euros since the tool’s inception.
  • Finance Minister Grant Robertson has revealed the Government considered giving New Zealanders a US-style stimulus cheque to provide an economic cushion to the Covid-induced downturn. But that form of what he this morning called “helicopter-style payment” where most Americans were given payments from the Government to spend on whatever they liked- was turned down in favour of the multi billion-dollar wage subsidy scheme.

In early trade on Wednesday, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1922, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8578.