Vaccine rollout day 66 / J & J VACCINE DAY 54

 By the close of trade on Thursday 8th April 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • In the South Africa, on the data front, manufacturing output contracted more than expected in February, led by declines in the output of petroleum, chemicals, rubber, plastics, furniture and metal products.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday signaled the central bank is nowhere near to reducing its support for the U.S. economy, noting that an expected rise in prices this year is likely to be temporary, and warning that an uptick in COVID-19 cases could slow the recovery. “Cases are moving back up here, so I would just urge that people do get vaccinated and continue socially distancing,” said Powell, who has been vaccinated himself, speaking at an economic forum during the virtual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings.
  • On March 31, 2021, President Biden released the American Jobs Plan (AJP). This plan proposed $2.3 trillion in new federal spending on various forms of public infrastructure, research and development, workforce training, affordable housing, and caregiving. Later reporting confirmed that the AJP would include an additional $400 billion in clean energy tax credits not specified in the administration’s original announcement. In total, the AJP proposes $2.7 trillion in new federal spending over the next 8 years, 2022 to 2029.
  • China’s producer prices climbed the most since July 2018 as commodity costs surged and the economy’s recovery strengthened. Consumer prices gained for the first time in three months. The producer price index rose 4.4% in March from a year earlier after gaining 1.7% in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 3.6% The consumer price index rose 0.4% from a year earlier Key Insights After months of deflation, producer prices have started to pick up sharply this year as the cost of oil, copper and agricultural goods rallied.
  • On the data front, the number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose for the week ended 2 April, but the increase likely understated the rapidly improving labour market conditions as more parts of the economy reopen and fiscal stimulus kicks in.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.36%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.14% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.21%.

In early trade on Friday, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R14.5474, while the euro is trading higher at R17.3152.   The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R19.9762.

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

  • The eurozone producer price index (PPI) increased at an accelerated pace on an annual basis in February due to surges for energy and intermediate goods.

In early trade on Friday, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1964, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8672.