LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3  [Adjusted ver. 3] 

TOTAL DAYS 519 – 07 HOURS 35 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 201
New cases 7740
New Deaths 134
Recovery Rate 91,4%

By the close of trading on Friday 27th August 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • In the US, consumer spending rose at a slower pace in July, with a decline in motor vehicle purchases amid shortages despite a rise in expenses on services like travel and leisure. Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast on Sunday, packing winds more powerful than Hurricane Katrina and a devastating storm surge that threatens to inundate New Orleans with mass flooding, power outages and destruction. The Category 4 storm roared ashore at 11:55 a.m. local time near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with top winds of 150 miles (240 kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. It comes on the 16th anniversary of Katrina’s landfall, which left the region in ruins and killed more than 1,800 people. Ida, so sprawling that its tropical-force winds extend 140 miles.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s long-anticipated speech at Jackson Hole provided fireworks but not quite what the market had expected. Confirmation of tapering was support to lift US rates and the dollar. Instead, the opposite took place.  Powell confirmed that July minutes “revelation” that tapering could begin this year and drew a stark distinction between tapering and raising rates. Interest rates at both ends of the curve softened, and the dollar fell.
  • Personal income in the US rose in June. Wages increased in July as companies compete for the shortages in labour force. The consumer sentiment plunged in the US, to its lowest in August as consumers due to smaller income gains amid higher inflation.
  • The increase in oil output agreed last month by OPEC+ nations could be reconsidered at its next meeting on Sept. 1, Kuwait’s oil minister said on Sunday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, will meet on Wednesday to discuss the previously agreed increase of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the next several months. “The markets are slowing. Since COVID-19 has begun its fourth wave in some areas, we must be careful and reconsider this increase. There may be a halt to the 400,000 (bpd) increase,” Mohammad Abdulatif al-Fares has told reporters.
  • Pandemic unemployment benefits are ending nationwide the first weekend in September, but don’t expect to see millions of available jobs to be filled quickly. At least 7.5 million people are projected to lose their pandemic unemployment compensation in the 26 states that are still paying benefits, according to The Century Foundation. That flood of potential new hires comes at a time when job openings are at a record high, and businesses are boosting wages, offering bonuses and providing other incentives to lure workers.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.32%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.95% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.8%.

In early trade on Monday 30th August 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R14.7426, while the euro is trading higher at R17.4021.   The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.2972.

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

  • In Germany, import price index rose more than expected in July on a monthly basis.
  • Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro laid out three outcomes for the presidential elections next year he will win the polls, get arrested or killed. Speaking to a group of evangelical leaders, the conservative leader said he will never be imprisoned as “no man on earth” scares him, and that he’s “doing the right thing.” The president has been ratcheting up his rhetoric and clashing with electoral authorities over unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud as his popularity falls to all-time lows.
  • Iran’s president on Sunday appointed a new director of the country’s nuclear department, state TV reported, replacing the nation’s most prominent nuclear scientist with a U.N.-sanctioned minister who has no reported experience in nuclear energy but ties to the defense ministry. Iran’s newly elected hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi chose Mohammad Eslami, a 64-year-old civil engineer who previously oversaw the country’s road network, to lead Iran’s civilian nuclear program and serve as one of several vice presidents.

In early trade on Monday 30th August 2021, the euro has advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1826, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8566.