LOCKDOWN LEVEL 2 Ver1 [ DAY 2]  

TOTAL DAYS 432 – 7 HOURS 40 MINUTES

Vaccine rollout day 116 / J & J VACCINE DAY 112 [Phase 2]

By the close of trade on Monday 31st May 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • South Africa recorded its twelfth consecutive trade surplus in April, with precious metal exports providing the biggest boost.  Markets were very quiet overnight with both the US and UK out on holidays. Global headlines though were interesting with the UK reporting just one virus death and zero deaths in England for the first time since the pandemic began. The UK’s sharp fall in deaths suggests markets can remain confident on the efficacy of vaccines and of a broader pickup in services consumption and travel. On the back of vaccine optimism and US fiscal stimulus the OECD upgraded its forecasts for global growth to 5.8% this year and 4.4% next year from 5.6% and 4.0% respectively back in March.
  • The signs were clear last Thursday when China’s PBOC held an unexpected, improvised meeting with major forex market players after which the central bank published a vague if ominous-sounding statement that the yuan exchange rate “can’t be used as a tool to stimulate exports via depreciation nor to offset impact of rising commodity prices via appreciation.” While many had been looking in the rearview mirror, discussing the recent surge in the yuan, and speculating that the PBOC meeting was merely a warning from Beijing that the mercantilist nation (which in recent years has specialized in exporting deadly viruses in the pursuit of a grand reset) wouldn’t look too fondly on more appreciation.
  • China announced on Monday that each couple would be permitted to have up to three children, a major policy shift from the existing limit of two children after recent data showed a dramatic decline in births in the world’s most populous country. The change was approved during a politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping, the official news agency Xinhua reported. In 2016, China scrapped its decades-old one-child policy — initially imposed to halt a population explosion — with a two-child limit, which failed to result in a sustained surge in births as the high cost of raising children in Chinese cities.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.31%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.97%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.91%.

In early trade on Tuesday 1st June 2021, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R13.7162, while the euro is trading lower at R16.7722.  The British pound has marginally declined against the South African rand to trade at R19.5366.

By the close of trade on Monday 31st May 2021, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • It has been yet another eventful month with Sterling managing to creep back up against most major currencies ending the month at 1.42 against the U.S Dollar and above 1.16 against the Euro. The slightly higher monthly close is owed to low liquidity on the markets on Bank Holiday Monday but generally Sterling has been a lot more bullish this month, with the Euro gaining significantly overall. As we enter June the most important factor which will decide the direction for Sterling exchange rates will be if the UK proceeds with the next step of coming out of lockdown on June 21st.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that they expected an explanation regarding the revelations that the Danish secret service had aided the US in spying on European leaders. An investigation carried out by a group of European news outlets and broadcasters discovered that Danish intelligence had helped the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on top politicians in Germany, France and other countries between 2012 and 2014 — when Joe Biden was serving as vice president.
  • Germany’s annual consumer price index (CPI) accelerated in May, advancing above the European Central Bank’s target of close to but below 2.0%.
  • Australian shares have fallen in afternoon trade, ahead of the Reserve Bank’s decision on interest rates and monetary policy.
  • Japanese manufacturing firms continued to indicate a moderate improvement in operating conditions in May. Sustained, albeit softer expansions in both production volumes and new orders contributed to overall growth in the manufacturing sector. As demand conditions continued to improve in the latest survey period, manufacturers were encouraged to take on additional staff for the second month running. Businesses also remained optimistic regarding the year ahead outlook for activity, with positive sentiment at the second-highest level in the respective Index’s nine-year history.

In early trade on Tuesday 1st June 2021, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.2232, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8632.

Covid news

Minister Zweli Mkhize confirms total of 1 662 825 cases of Coronavirus COVID-19

30 May 2021

As of today the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa on 30 May 2021 is 1 662 825, with 3 755 new cases reported over the past 24 hours.

Province                     Total cases for 30 May 2021             Percentage total

Eastern Cape              197 759                                               11,9

Free State                   101 074                                               6,1

Gauteng                      456 764                                               27,5

KwaZulu-Natal             339 811                                               20,4

Limpopo                      65 364                                                 3,9

Mpumalanga              82 426                                                 5,0

North West                  75 847                                                 4,6

Northern Cape            50 188                                                 3,0

Western Cape             293 592                                               17,7

Total                            1 662 825                                            100,0

The cumulative recoveries now stand at 1 556 874 representing a recovery rate of 93, 6%.

Province              Total Deaths      Total Recoveries              Active Cases

Eastern Cape      11 657                   185 257                                845

Free State           4 329                     88 614                                   8 131

Gauteng              11 207                   429 685                                15 872

KwaZulu-Natal  10 509                   325 081                                4 221

Limpopo              2 446                     62 222                                   696

Mpumalanga     1 448                     79 331                                   1 647

North West         1 933                     67 386                                   6 528

Northern Cape  1 101                     41 075                                   8 012

Western Cape   11 809                   278 223                                3 560

Total                      56 439                   1 556 874                             49 512

VACCINATION   TOTAL

SISONKE              479 768

PHASE TWO        488 551

SISONKE & PFIZER            968 319

The total vaccinated under the Sisonke Programme is 479 768. The total vaccinated in Phase Two as at midnight today is 488 551. These vaccinations were with the first dose of Pfizer vaccine. Total individuals vaccinated; Sisonke and Pfizer first dose is 968 319.