LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1 Ver3 [ DAY 58]  

TOTAL DAYS 427 – 7 HOURS 35 MINUTES

Vaccine rollout day 114 / J & J VACCINE DAY 107 [Phase 2]

By the close of trade on Wednesday 26th May 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.  Hear on SA shores it’s more of the same GRAFT, with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize now embroiled in a hundreds of millions Rands Covid-19 tender scandal.  An SIU investigation has found that the PFMA has irregularities.   Dancing his way around the Pietermaritzburg High Court Jacob Zuma found himself dancing outside the regions highest court.

  • The dovish stance taken by the US Fed in the face of fears of rising inflation.  Fed Vice Chairman, Randal Quarles, signalled that he was ready to open talks on reducing some of the US central bank’s emergency support for the economy, even if only to clarify the Fed’s plans as the economy roars ahead and prices rise.  US yields supporting the bid tone in the greenback ahead of key data. The greenback is finding support on Thursday as traders back the buck ahead of key data for the end of the week. Investors are starting to come around to the idea that the Federal Reserve is surely edging towards a discussion about tightening monetary policy. Data in mid-May showed April US CPI running at an annual clip of 4.2% which stalled a downtrend in the greenback.
  • US dollar takes a leap of faith into daily resistance. US yields supporting the bid tone in the greenback ahead of key data. The greenback is finding support on Thursday as traders back the buck ahead of key data for the end of the week. Investors are starting to come around to the idea that the Federal Reserve is surely edging towards a discussion about tightening monetary policy. Data in mid-May showed April US CPI running at an annual clip of 4.2% which stalled a downtrend in the greenback.
  • Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held phone talks with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Thursday, during which the two conducted candid, pragmatic and constructive exchanges in an attitude of equality and mutual respect: commerce ministry.
  • Iran is enriching uranium at purity levels that “only countries making bombs are reaching,” the UN’s nuclear watchdog chief warned. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Tehran’s enrichment program was “very concerning” and cautioned that it requires a “vigilant eye” in an interview published by the Financial Times on Wednesday.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.29%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.90% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 8.86%.

In early trade on Thursday, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R13.7676, while the euro is trading marginally higher at R16.7882.  The British pound has marginally declined against the South African rand to trade at R19.4326.

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

  • French business and consumer confidence rebounded in May as a third national lockdown was lifted.
  • Acting Premier James Merlino announced the lockdown at 11am local time. Victorians would not be allowed to have any visitors to the home, other than an intimate partner. There will be no public gatherings, while restaurants, pubs, and cafes can provide takeaway. Under the lockdown, masks must be worn everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, unless an exemption applied. There are currently 34 active cases currently and there were 40,411 tests yesterday. The highest ever processed in Victoria.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.2192, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8646.