LOCKDOWN LEVEL 2 Ver1 [ DAY 7]  

TOTAL DAYS 437 – 7 HOURS 40 MINUTES

Vaccine rollout day 123 / J & J VACCINE DAY 119 [Phase 2]

Milestone – 1,343, 433.00 million vaccines administered

By the close of trade on Friday 4th June 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • US employment data indicated that the country created fewer jobs than analysts expected in May.  The US payrolls had something for both the monetary hawks and doves, but ultimately price is the final arbiter and we saw US Treasury yields falling sharply in the belly of the curve. This had the effect of pushing down the USD 0.4%, with larger more pronounced moves in the higher beta commodity currencies, with the AUD, NZD, SEK, and NOK finding good buyers. The CAD lagging given Canadian payrolls fell 68k, which had a few questioning the hawkish pricing in the Canadian rates market.
  • Unemployment rate fell by more than expected in April.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.26%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.98%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.78%.

In early trade on Monday 7th June 2021, the US dollar is trading marginally lower against the South African rand at R13.4366, while the euro is trading marginally lower at R16.3372.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R18.9926.

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

  • This week, Boris Johnson gets his first big chance to answer a question that’s puzzled many in the international community for some time: Post-Brexit, what is Britain actually for? Critics of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union have long worried that, overseas, Brexit was viewed as an inward-looking project carried out by a nation hostile to the outside world. Policies enacted by Johnson’s government since have done little to assuage these fears: Cultural battles over British heritage; disputes with the European Union over the trade deal signed by the Prime Minister himself last year slashing spending on foreign aid, to name a few.
  • British health minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday it was too early to say whether the government would stick to its plan to fully lift COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in England on June 21. Hancock said there had been a “very significant” impact from the delta variant of COVID-19 first detected in India over the last month, which is now the dominant strain in England, according to official estimates. He pointed to a renewed rise in COVID-19 cases but said he had been reassured by a broadly flat rate of hospitalisations and deaths as officials consider plans to end the lockdown.
  • Eurozone retail sales fell more than expected in April, dragged down by a decline in sales of non-food products, but they were still much higher than 12 months earlier when most countries were under strict pandemic lockdowns.
  • Japan spring wage talks have resulted in an average pay increase of 1.82%.   This a first time below 2% since 2013 [slowest pace since 2008 financial}.
  • National Australia Bank Ltd. is being investigated by the government agency responsible for financial crime for what it said were serious concerns over the lender’s compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws. AUSTRAC wrote in a letter Friday to National Australia saying a formal investigation is under way and that it has not made any decision at this stage about whether or not any enforcement action would be taken, according to a statement from the bank on Monday.

In early trade on Monday 7th June 2021, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.2172, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8626.