LOCKDOWN LEVEL 2 Ver1 [ DAY 9]  

TOTAL DAYS 439 – 8 HOURS 09 MINUTES

Vaccine rollout day 125 / J & J VACCINE DAY 120 [Phase 2]

Milestone – 1,433,730.00  million vaccines administered

By the close of trade on Tuesday 8th June 2021, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.  In SA the Health Minister was granted special leave as the mountain of evidence relating to massive Covid-19 corruption mounts.  In the courts a trusted Lieutenant of the Guptas Mr. Iqbal Sharma was denied bail and considered a flight risk.

  • Meanwhile, the South African economy grew better-than-expected in 1Q21, on account of a pickup in domestic household spending as well as robust activity in the country’s mining and finance industries.
  • In the US, goods and services trade deficit narrowed in April, amid a decline in imports, but the improvement was likely temporary as domestic demand remains robust. The number of job openings reached a series high of 9.3 million on the last business day of April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 6.1 million. Total separations increased to 5.8 million. Within separations, the quits rate reached a series high of 2.7 percent while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to a series low of 1.0 percent. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, by four geographic regions, and by establishment size class.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face, leading police to arrest two men, a spokesman for the National Gendarmerie told NBC News on Tuesday. A widely circulated video clip shows a masked man shouting “Down with Macronia” in French before swinging at the president’s face with his open palm. The two suspects were arrested after the incident, which occurred during Macron’s visit to a school in southeast France. The trip to the Tain-Hermitage school, which specializes in the restaurant industry, came on the eve of the French government lifting restrictions on indoor dining.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.18%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.00%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.68%.

In early trade on Wednesday, the US dollar is trading marginally higher against the South African rand at R13.5746, while the euro is trading higher at R16.5426.  The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R19.2366.

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

  • The eurozone economy contracted much less than expected in the 1Q21 period.
  • Chinese Consumer Price Index for the year 2020 May to May 2021 arrived at 1.3% vs the expected 1.6%; and the previous 0.9%. Month on month, the data for May arrived at -0.2% vs the expected -0.1% and previous -0.3%. Meanwhile, the Chinese Producer Price Index for the same year came in at 9.0% (exp 8.5%; prev 6.8%) This was the fastest pace of rising since 2008. China vows to control corn, wheat, pork prices after PPI surge and to keep prices of goods linked to livelihood stable.
  • German industrial output unexpectedly fell in April, driven by a lack of semiconductors, timber and other intermediate goods. Also, investor sentiment in Germany fell in June. However, it remained at a high level and expectations for a strong economic recovery for the next six months are intact.
  • Although business confidence slipped in June, gauges of businesses’ own activity continued to hold firm at pre-covid levels. This highlights continued firmness in economic conditions through mid-2021. Employment and investment intentions remain at historically high levels and are around the levels we saw prior to the outbreak. The strength in these series highlight that businesses expect that demand is likely to be persistent. Investment intentions have been rising for 6 consecutive months.

In early trade on Wednesday, the euro has advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.2179, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8626.