LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1 Ver3 [ DAY 8]  

TOTAL DAYS 377 – 7 HOURS 25 MINUTES

Vaccine rollout day 65 / J & J VACCINE DAY 53

By the close of trade on Wednesday 7th April 2021, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.  Today president Ramaphosa heads to Mozambique for a Troika summit on Security and top of the agenda the risk that Al Shabab insurgency has to the Region.

  • Meanwhile, the IMF forecasted growth of 3.1% for SA, up from an estimate of 2.8% made in January. It forecasts global growth of 6.0% in 2021, an increase of 0.5% from its January projection, reflecting a rapidly brightening outlook for the US economy.
  • In the US, the Fed minutes from its March meeting showed that easy policy will stay in place until it produces stronger employment and inflation, and won’t be adjusted based merely on forecasts.
  • Chicago Fed President, Charles Evans, stated that he is optimistic and confident in his forecast for stronger growth this year, but said that the Fed will need to see actual progress toward its goals, not just improved forecasts, before reducing its massive bond buying program.
  • On the data front, trade deficit widened in February. U.S. consumer borrowing surged in February by the most since late 2017 as a broader re-opening of the economy from pandemic restrictions helped spark an increase in credit-card balances. Total credit jumped $27.6 billion from the prior month, the largest gain since November 2017, after a revised $94 million January gain, Federal Reserve figures showed Wednesday. On an annualized basis, borrowing rose 7.9% in February. The gain in February credit exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Revolving credit climbed $8.1 billion, the most since December 2019 and only the second advance in a year.
  • The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russia would keep military forces near its border with Ukraine for as long as it saw fit and a high-ranking Moscow security official added it could take “measures” if necessary. Western nations have called for restraint after Ukraine raised the alarm over a buildup of Russian forces near its border and violence rose along the line between Kyiv’s troops and separatists in Ukraine’s east. Russia’s Security Council secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, said Russia had no plans to intervene in the conflict.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.37%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.17% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.31%.

In early trade on Thursday 8th April 2021, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R14.5572, while the euro is trading lower at R17.2866.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.0272.

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

  • The eurozone business activity bounced back to growth in March, underpinned by a record expansion in manufacturing.
  • Growth in Germany’s private sector accelerated in March to its highest level in more than three years as the services sector fared surprisingly well despite extended coronavirus curbs and a third wave of infections.

In early trade on Thursday 8th April 2021, the euro marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1926, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8632.