Vaccine rollout day 64 / J & J VACCINE DAY 52

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

  • In the US, the number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose for the week ended 26 March, though the labour market recovery is gaining traction as economic activity picks up, driven by increased vaccinations and massive fiscal stimulus.
  • A new high for service sector growth: The March reading of the ISM services index jumped to a new record high of 63.7 from 55.3 – significantly above the 59.0 consensus forecast. Admittedly, the data only goes back to 1997, but it underlines the story that with Covid vaccinations proceeding well and restrictions on movement being eased, the stimulus fueled economy is taking off. chart It also suggests that last Friday’s 916,000 increase in employment will likely be beaten in April with more spending and more people movement requiring more jobs to meet the demand.
  • The services industry activity surged to a record high in March amid robust growth in new orders, in the latest indication of a roaring economy that is being boosted by increased vaccinations and massive fiscal stimulus.
  • New orders for US made goods fell in February, likely weighed down by unseasonably cold weather.
  • The United States finds reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine’s border “credible,” has asked Moscow to explain the “provocations” and is ready to engage on the situation, the U.S. State Department said on Monday. The reported Russian troop buildup and movements bordering eastern Ukraine have become the latest point of tension in icy U.S.-Russian relations less than three months after U.S. President Joe Biden took office.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Thursday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.52%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.30% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.54%.

In early trade on Tuesday 05th April 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R14.5872, while the euro is trading higher at R17.2266. At 06:00   The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.2672.

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

  • German factory activity grew at the fastest pace on record in March, although the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal last week may delay raw materials arrivals and prolong supplier delivery times.
  • Eurozone manufacturing PMI rose at its fastest pace in the near 24-year history of a leading business survey in March, but supply chain disruptions and renewed lockdowns in the region may rein it in soon.
  • China urged Japan to steer clear of “internal issues” including Hong Kong and Xinjiang as Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga prepares to meet U.S. President Joe Biden later this month. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi that he hoped Japan could treat China’s development from an “objective and rational” perspective, according to a statement on Tuesday from the government in Beijing.
  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. kicked off marketing of a multi-tranche yen bond deal on Monday, several months after announcing investments in Japan’s biggest trading companies. The conglomerate is offering yen notes for a third straight year, after selling 430 billion yen ($3.89 billion) of the securities in its inaugural deal in 2019. That was one of the largest-ever debt offerings by a foreign issuer in yen. Berkshire Hathaway said in August that it had acquired stakes of about 5% in Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. and Sumitomo Corp.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1872, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8526