LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3  [Adjusted ver. 3] 

TOTAL DAYS 512 – 07 HOURS 35 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 199
New cases 10685
New Deaths 553
Recovery Rate 91.2%

By the close of trade on Tuesday 24th August 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • South Africa’s unemployment rose to record levels in 2Q21, however, the figure does not include effects of the July unrest that hit parts of SA.
  • In the US, manufacturing activity declined in August to its lowest since June 2020, indicating that the industrial sector is expanding but supply-chain constraints and labour shortages are limiting the output and factories can’t meet up with orders.
  • New Home sales increased in July, amid improved inventory despite supply chain bottlenecks.
  • Global real GDP reached a new high in the second quarter of 2021, completing a year-long recovery from the COVID-19 recession. Western Europe rebounded from its double-dip recession, while the United States and mainland China sustained robust growth. These gains offset setbacks in India and parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America. chart While growth momentum is slowing with the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the global expansion is moving forward.
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole gathering has gone virtual this year, but investors still anxiously await the outcome. Will the Federal Reserve reveal its plans to pull back from its massive purchases of bonds? And what will this do to stocks?
  • Vice President Kamala Harris’ departure from Singapore on Monday was delayed by more than three hours because of an ‘anomalous health incident in Hanoi,’ which was the next stop in her Asia trip. Anomalous health incident is what the U.S. government calls Havana Syndrome, the mysterious condition that causes headaches, brain injury and other issues. Officials said the decision was made to continue to the trip but did not offer many details.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.29%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.97%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.85%.

In early trade on Wednesday 25th August 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R15.0236, while the euro is trading higher at R17.648.  The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.6368.

By the close of trade on Tuesday 24th August 2021, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • The Meishan terminal at China’s second-busiest port reopened Wednesday following a two-week shutdown that further snarled already stressed shipping routes in Asia. The terminal will start the resumption of normal operations Wednesday, a port official said at a press conference in the city of Ningbo. The terminal was about a quarter of the Ningbo-Zhoushan port’s capacity and was shut from Aug. 11 after a worker was found to be infected with Covid-19. The congestion and delays on global shipping routes due to Covid has only worsened this year as Chinese exports hit new records due to rising global demand.
  • In Germany, the economy grew better than expected in 2Q21, as the easing of pandemic restrictions encouraged consumer spending and the state urged on with a huge debt-financed stimulus push.
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) board member, Isabel Schnabel, stated that non-bank financial firms, more commonly known as shadow banks, need tighter regulation as their increasing risk profile could impair central bank policy during periods of stress.
  • Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg has launched a new public appeal for the states to uphold a four-step plan out of COVID-19 lockdowns, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said interstate travel could return by Christmas if vaccination targets are met. In early August, National Cabinet agreed to a plan, based on Doherty Institute modeling, which calls for restrictions to be limited once certain vaccination targets are met. The plan also looks past ‘COVID-zero’ settings as a goal, under the assumption the public health system will manage COVID-19 infections within a highly vaccinated population.

In early trade on Wednesday 25th August 2021, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1748, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8562.