LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1 Ver3 [ DAY 35]  

TOTAL DAYS 405 – 7 HOURS 40 MINUTES

Vaccine rollout day 92 / J & J VACCINE DAY 80

By the close of trade on Tuesday 4th May 2021, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.  The dollar tried to extend a rally on Wednesday as chatter about the possibility of higher U.S. interest rates and a sell-off in tech stocks soured risk sentiment to the benefit of the safe-haven currency.  Here at home the ANC NWC has given the green light for suspensions of Ace Magashule, Zandile Gumede and Mike Mabuyakhulu.  Ace is expected to receive a letter from his deputy Jessie Duarte today.

  • In the US, factory orders for US made goods rebounded in March and business spending on equipment was stronger than initially estimated, boosted by robust domestic demand.
  • The US trade deficit widened to a record high in March, amid roaring domestic demand, which is drawing in imports, and this gap could widen further as the nation’s economic activity rebounds faster than its global rivals. Further, the Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen stated that interest rates may have to rise to keep a lid on the burgeoning growth of the US economy brought on in part by trillions of dollars in government stimulus spending.
  • Israel fired missiles toward northwest Syria early Wednesday, killing one person and wounding six, Syrian state media reported. It was the first Israeli attack on Syria since a missile fired by Damascus struck deep inside Israel two weeks ago. The missiles targeted the northwestern towns of Haffeh and Masyaf and struck a civilian plastic warehouse among other locations, state TV said. Syrian air defense units responded to the missile attacks, the report said, without giving further details. Israel has launched hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked military targets in Syria over the years
  • Russia is looking at the sudden metals price surge after receiving a number of complaints from consumers. The country is now mulling over potential solutions, including regulating domestic prices. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade is looking into the possibility of including a number of steel products on the list of goods that are deemed essential for the domestic market. This would give the government the power to one day limit exports to control prices.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly rose yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.33%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.65%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.16%.

In early trade on Wednesday 5th May 2021, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R14.4366, while the euro is trading lower at R17.3522.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R20.0756.

By the close of trade on Tuesday 4th May 2021, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • The European Union will reopen to holidaymakers from countries with low Covid infection rates, such as the UK, and to anyone who has been fully vaccinated, by the start of June under a European Commission plan.
  • In sport new the Indian IPL was immediately suspended after players and support staff became infected.
  • In Durban an Indian Bulk Carrier carrying rice entered the Port of Durban.  The vessels chief mate had passed away on the voyage and was removed from the ship.  Health boarded the vessel and tested the crew.  14 sailors were found to be infected.  Of most concern was that all operations with Stevedores and other shore side activities were not stopped initially.   The super spreader is now a massive headache to the Government and Port about what to do.

In early trade on Wednesday, the euro has advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.2076, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8726.