LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3 Ver 2 [ DAY 2]  

TOTAL DAYS 446 – 7 HOURS 30 MINUTES

Vaccine rollout day 133 / J & J VACCINE DAY 128 [Phase 2]

By the close of trade on Tuesday 15th June 2021, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.  Investors drove the U.S. dollar sharply higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled an earlier interest rate hike.

  • In South Africa, President, Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the country will move to Level 3 lockdown to deal with a third wave of COVID-19 infections that’s threatening to overwhelm hospitals.
  • In the US, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday brought forward its projections for the first post-pandemic interest rate hikes into 2023, citing an improved health situation and dropping a longstanding reference that the crisis was weighing on the economy. New projections saw a majority of 11 of 18 U.S. central bank officials pencil in at least two quarter-percentage-point rate increases for 2023, even as officials pledged in a statement to keep policy supportive for now to encourage an ongoing jobs recovery. That rate-hike view, coupled with a new forecast for three years of inflation running above the central bank’s 2% target.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that his summit with President Biden was “constructive,” and that the countries had agreed their ambassadors would imminently return to their posts in Moscow and Washington. What he’s saying: “Many of our joint positions are divergent but nevertheless I think both sides manifested a determination to try and understand each other and try and converge our positions,” Putin told reporters at a press conference immediately following the meetings, according to a translator.
  • The National Association of Realtors says the current state of the housing market is absolutely “dire,” the consequence of a housing shortage 30 years in the making. According to the lobbying group, construction of long-term housing fell 5.5 million units short of historical levels over the past 30 years. The NAR is calling for a “major national commitment” to build more housing of all types by expanding resources, addressing barriers to new development and making new housing construction an integral part of a national infrastructure strategy.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Tuesday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.20%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond ended steady at 5.06%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 8.76%.

In early trade on Thursday, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R13.9996, while the euro is trading lower at R16.8026.   The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R19.6022.

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

  • In the UK, the consumer price index (CPI) unexpectedly jumped above the Bank of England’s target in May and looks set to rise further as the country re-opens its economy after its coronavirus lockdowns.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s gesture for people to drink water instead of Coke at a Euro 2020 press conference may have cost the soda company $4 billion in market value. Coca-Cola shares dropped from $56.17 to $55.22 after Ronaldo moved two Coke bottles out of view and picked up a bottle of water before Portugal’s match against Hungary on Monday. Market value for the company dropped from $242 billion to $238 billion – a $4 billion plunge. “Agua!” the soccer superstar exclaimed. Agua means water in Portuguese. Coca-Cola is one of the sponsors for the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament.
  • Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite fighting sex-trafficking charges, won a rare court victory Wednesday a judge ordered one of her accusers to pay her $13.70 to cover litigation expenses. Maxwell, 59, has been in a federal lockup in Brooklyn, New York, since her arrest last year, accused of helping her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein procure girls. She is also alleged to have participated in some of the sexual abuse. Maxwell is fighting the charges and is scheduled to go on trial in November.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.2023, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8586