LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3  [Adjusted ver. 3] 

TOTAL DAYS 523 – 07 HOURS 35 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 205
New cases  9203
New Deaths 418
Recovery Rate 91,8%

By the close of trade on Thursday 2nd September 2021, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.

  • In the US, new claims for jobless benefits fell for the week ended 27 August, while layoffs dropped to the lowest levels in more than 24 years in August, indicating an improvement in the labour market despite a surge in the coronavirus infection.  A record share of U.S. small-business owners said they had vacant positions in August, and an unprecedented number boosted wages to lure workers, the National Federation of Independent Business said Thursday. Fifty percent of firms had job openings they could not fill last month, up 1 percentage point from July and the largest share in monthly data back to 1986, according to the NFIB data. A record 41% of small-business owners said they raised compensation. “Owners are raising compensation in an attempt to attract workers and these costs are being passed on to consumers through price hikes for goods and services
  • Investors will be watching Friday’s jobs report for the latest read on the health of the labor market as Federal Reserve officials debate winding down monetary support later this year. The U.S. probably added 725,000 jobs in August, a more moderate pace compared to each of the prior two months but stronger than gains seen early this year, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A strong report would signal that businesses are having more success hiring after months of limited labor supply.  A record share of U.S. small-business owners said they had vacant positions in August, and an unprecedented number boosted wages to lure workers, the National Federation of Independent Business said Thursday. Fifty percent of firms had job openings they could not fill last month, up 1 percentage point from July and the largest share in monthly data back to 1986, according to the NFIB data. A record 41% of small-business owners said they raised compensation.
  • Nonfarm productivity increased less than expected in 2Q21. Unit labour grew more than expected in 2Q21. Unit labour costs have been inaccurate by the pandemic’s uneven impact on lower-wage industries.
  • New orders rose in July, led by rise in orders for primary metals and machinery, while business spending on equipment remained strong, indicating improvement in manufacturing.   A mild decline in the headline global PMI masks a more worrying downturn in manufacturing production revealed by the survey’s sub-indices. These sub-indices also add colour to what has caused the downturn in production growth and the consequences of the slowdown.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.28%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond increased to 4.87% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 8.75%.

In early trade on Friday 3rd September 2021, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R14.4365, while the euro is trading lower at R17.1344.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R19.9576.

By the close of trade on Thursday 2nd September 2021, the euro advanced against most of the major currencies.

  • Amsterdam reclaimed the top spot as Europe’s largest share-trading center in July and August, beating out main rival London once again. An average 8.23 billion euros ($9.75 billion) of shares a day were traded on various Dutch venues in August, compared with 7.63 billion euros for various London exchanges, according to data from Cboe Europe. London had moved back ahead of Amsterdam as Europe’s largest share-trading center in June for the first time this year after Brexit pushed much of the city’s volumes to the continent. However, its lead only lasted one month before Amsterdam returned to the top in July.
  • In the eurozone, Producer Price Index (PPI) advanced more than expected in July, with an increase prices of energy and intermediate goods.
  • Chinese services companies signalled a renewed fall in business activity during August, as rising COVID-19 case numbers at home and abroad impacted operations and demand. Notably, it was the first time that output and new work had fallen since April 2020. At the same time, companies reported a slight reduction in workforce numbers, which contributed to a sustained rise in outstanding business.
  • In New Zealand, many people’s internet is now connected again, after a widespread outage affecting a number of companies across the country, including Spark, Vodafone, Slingshot and Orcon. The website Down Detector is now reporting a sharp drop in outages, indicating services are back online for many people and businesses. A DDoS attack is where attackers try to disrupt the normal traffic to an internet service, server, or network. The aim is to hinder access, and stop people from getting to the services they need. The attacks work by flooding a website with fake requests, exceeding its capacity.
  • A joined-up approach between governments and central banks is essential for tackling many of the world’s problems. And yet dangers are evident that central banks’ massive purchases of government bonds will end up nationalising financial risks and increasing the gap between rich and poor. That is just one of the thorny dilemmas expounded by Gordon Brown, former British chancellor of the exchequer and prime minister, in an ambitious new book pleading for governments to ramp up global co-operation to build a post-pandemic world.

In early trade on Friday 3rd September, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.196, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8576.