Vaccine rollout day 166

New cases 11215

By the close of trade on Friday 16th July 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar. In South Africa President Ramaphosa toured the sites across Durban where shopping centers and businesses had been torched and looted.  The trail of destruction and loss is in excess of R100B.  In the suburbs the communities still stand shoulder to shoulder at checkpoints.  Local supermarkets slowly came back on line.

  • South Africa’s unfolding turmoil is putting emerging-market political risks at the fore, and traders are hunting for currencies vulnerable to political hazards and playing them off against their more stable peers. Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG were among the lenders recommending investors to short the South African rand last week as deadly riots threatened to derail an incipient economic recovery. Chile’s peso is also seen as vulnerable relative to more stable units such as the Russian ruble.
  • In the US, the consumer sentiment index declined sharply and unexpectedly to a five-month low in July, as concerns over rising inflation depressed hopes of a domestic economic rebound.
  • Retail sales in the US unexpectedly surged in June, boosted by strong demand for goods despite a shift in spending to services.
  • For two decades Chinese tech firms have flocked to the U.S. stock market, drawn by a friendly regulatory environment and a vast pool of capital eager to invest in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Now, the juggernaut behind hundreds of companies worth $2 trillion appears stopped in its tracks. Beijing’s July 10 announcement that almost all businesses trying to go public in another country will require approval from a newly empowered cybersecurity regulator amounts to a death knell for Chinese initial public offerings in the U.S., according to long-time industry watchers.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.51%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.19%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.91%.

In early trade on Monday 19th July 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R14.4572, while the euro is trading higher at R17.0644. The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R19.8863.

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

  • “Frenzied buyer activity” have driven the average asking price for a home in Britain to a new high, according to the property website Rightmove. The property portal said it expected figures from HMRC due later this week to show that June was the busiest month on record for sales, with buyers rushing to complete before stamp duty rules change in parts of the United Kingdom. On 30 June, a temporary tax break on the first £500,000 of the cost of a residential property in England and Northern Ireland began to be phased out, with the threshold cut to £250,000.
  • The eurozone consumer price index (CPI) rose in-line with market expectations on a monthly basis in June. Further, the trading bloc’s trade surplus narrowed in May, due to a decline in exports.
  • The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its non-OPEC allies reached a deal Sunday to phase out 5.8 million barrels per day of oil production cuts by September 2022. Coordinated easing of oil cuts for the group, known as OPEC+, will begin in August, OPEC announced in a statement. Overall production will increase by 400,000 barrels per day on a monthly basis from that point onward. The International Energy Agency estimates a 1.5 million barrel per day shortfall for the second half of this year, indicating a tight market despite the gradual OPEC supply boost.

In early trade on Monday, the euro marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1826, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8572.