LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3  [Adjusted ver. 3] 

TOTAL DAYS 508 – 07 HOURS 35 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 190

New cases 10139
New Deaths 272
Recovery Rate 91.2%

On the sporting arena, South Africa stood proud.  On Saturday the Springboks opened up their Rugby Championship with a win over Argentina.  On Sunday Brad Binder won his second Moto GP in what can be described as the last 5 laps that will go down in racing History.  Coming from 8th position with 5 laps to go the South African took the winning flag in a rain affected last 5 laps. To round the weekend off Brandon Grace found himself in a six way shootout at the Windham PGA that went down the 18th twice before a winner Kevin Kistner was announced. Si Woo Kim, Adam Scott, Roger Sloan, Kevin Na and Branden Grace finished runners-up.

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

  • In South Africa, Finance minister, Enoch Godongwana stated that he is committed to the policy path set out by his predecessor, Tito Mboweni, and sees “no changes” in SA’s fiscal framework.
  • In the US, the Michigan consumer sentiment fell sharply in early August, raising concerns of a decline in economic activity.
  • Taliban leaders marched into Kabul Sunday, preparing to take full control of Afghanistan two decades after they were removed by the U.S. military. The militant group took over the presidential palace, and said it plans to soon declare a new “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” Hours earlier, American-backed President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The speed of the Afghan government’s collapse shocked NATO allies and prompted condemnation from both sides of the U.S. political divide over how President Joe Biden’s administration appeared to be blindsided by the Taliban’s easy advance.  The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan was over after insurgents took control of the presidential palace in Kabul as US-led forces departed and Western nations scrambled on Monday (Aug 16) to evacuate their citizens.
  • Profit-taking on long dollar positions was seen ahead of the weekend. The yield on the December 2022 Eurodollar futures slipped to finish unchanged on the week that saw CPI and PPI reports. The preliminary University of Michigan’s consumer confidence measure tumbled to its lowest level since 2011 as the delta variant flares, leading to new social restrictions and delays in the return to work in the US for many. The market appears to have fully discounted a Fed hike at the end of next year.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.38%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.01%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.88%.

In early trade on Monday 16 August 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R14.7466, while the euro is trading lower at R17.3892.  The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.4378.

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

  • In the eurozone, trade surplus widened in June, as exports to the UK rose in the month, while the bloc’s exports to the rest of the world dropped marginally, whereas imports from the UK were unchanged.
  • In Germany, wholesale prices rose less than expected in July.
  • Melbourne’s lockdown will be extended by two weeks and a curfew imposed from 9pm to 5am every night.
  • New Zealand is set to raise interest rates this week, the first advanced economy in the Asia-Pacific to begin normalizing policy, as a powerful recovery unhindered by delta outbreaks shows signs of overheating. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will lift the official cash rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.5% at its review Wednesday in Wellington, according to 13 of 17 analysts surveyed.

In early trade on Monday, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1865, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8566.