LOCKDOWN LEVEL 2 

TOTAL DAYS 531 – 07 HOURS 30 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 213
New cases  3961
New Deaths 126
Recovery Rate 93,3%

By the close of trade on Friday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.  On Sunday evening the President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation and adjusted the Covid-19 lockdown level to level 2.  This weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Back then, the world froze as four hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field and brought nearly 3,000 people to their deaths. Lower Manhattan was torn to pieces, residents unsure if it would ever recover. Washington was under attack. Americans were terrified. Global markets plunged. In the two decades since, foreign policy has been upended. Security measures at global borders, airports and office buildings reshaped travel and international business. Americas longest war drew to a close in Afghanistan this past week.

  • In the US, the producer price Index (PPI) advanced in August, posting its biggest annual gain in nearly 11 years, indicating that higher inflation will persist for a while, as the pandemic continues to pressure the supply chains.
  • Wholesale inventory accumulation declined in July, more than sales, taking wholesalers the shortest time in seven years to clear shelves.
  • Iran has agreed to allow the UN nuclear watchdog to service monitoring cameras at Iranian nuclear sites after talks on Sunday with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi, according to the head of Iran’s atomic energy body and a joint statement. The talks were aimed at easing a deadlock between Tehran and the West just as it threatens to escalate and obstruct negotiations on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
  • North Korea has successfully test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile over the weekend, state media reported Monday, a low-level provocation amid stalled talks with the United States. The test-firings, which took place Saturday and Sunday without leader Kim Jong-un in attendance, came right after the North held a scaled-down military parade, and appeared to be intent on demonstrating its military power in a low-level provocation without violating U.N. sanctions.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.39%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 4.92%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 8.84%.

In early trade on Monday 13th September 2021, the US dollar is trading marginally higher against the South African rand at R14.2236, while the euro is trading lower at R16.7764.   The British pound has marginally gained against the South African rand to trade at R19.6672.

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

  • In Germany, the consumer price index (CPI) grew in line with market expectations in August.
  • In the UK, the economic growth slowed in July, as a rise in the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 dampened the country’s recovery prospects. The UK needs to be better prepared for future economic shocks, says the TUC. “Covid is not going to be a one-off,” the union federation’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, will tell its annual congress later on Monday. “Climate chaos is here already and the longer we put off getting to net zero, the more disruptive it will be,” she will add. At the same time, the CBI is urging the government to avoid further big post-pandemic tax increases on business. CBI director general Tony Danker will say in a speech later on Monday that ministers must make “big choices” to help business investment.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will this week set out his plans to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the winter months, announcing a decision to scrap the introduction of vaccine passports and steps to end some emergency powers. Johnson, under fire from some in his governing Conservative Party for raising taxes to fix a health and social care crisis, looks set to try to soothe those critics by ditching plans to introduce passports despite an increasing number of coronavirus cases.
  • In the time of COVID-19, competence in managing the pandemic is a vital criterion for reward or punishment at the polls for democratic leaders. This is politically tricky enough to manage on its own. Add hosting the Olympics during a pandemic and being a transitional leader, and you’re in the unique world of political pain that was the ultimate fate of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. When Suga failed to gain a popularity boost from the postponed Tokyo Olympics, it not only threw the electoral schedule into sharp relief for the ruling coalition but it also threw Suga under a bus. On 3 September Suga duly announced that he would not run for the leadership on 29 September, setting the stage for a new prime minister to lead the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) into Japan’s general election.  Japan’s minister in charge of vaccines, Taro Kono, has emerged as the favoured candidate in weekend opinion polls on whom should succeed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

In early trade on Monday 13th September 2021, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1826, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8548.