LOCKDOWN LEVEL 2 

TOTAL DAYS 555 – 07 HOURS 25 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 203
New cases  1687
New Deaths 101
Recovery Rate 95,5%
Vaccines Administered 17,505,358

By the close of trade on Thursday 30th September 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar. In a late move the President Cyril Ramaphosa eased the lockdown to adjusted level 1.  Debate raged immediately that the move was in favour of electioneering and the Polls in just over 1 months time.  The biggest loser was funerals and memorial services [so called after tears ceremonies which are still banned]. Funerals however can accommodate 100 persons maximum.

  • In the US, gross domestic product (GDP) grew during the 2Q21 period, as vaccination drives allowed businesses to reopen.  The US Senate voted to pass Government Funding Bill ensuring salaries would be paid over the December Government Furlow.
  • The number of people claiming for unemployment benefits rose last week but remained at pandemic lows with employers limiting layoffs amid COVID-19.
  • The US Chicago purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped in September.
  • The US Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell stated that the economy is experiencing an unusual event of supply-side restrictions and expects that these will subside, and over time inflation will come back down. It is a very difficult situation that the Fed finds itself in regards to tension between inflation and employment. We are still far away from full employment, inflation well above target stated Powell.
  • With a potential default looming for the U.S. in October, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday she would just as soon see the power over debt limits taken away from Congress. A bill introduced in May would repeal the national debt ceiling, and Yellen said “yes, I would” when asked during a House hearing if she backs the effort. She noted that Congress makes the decisions on taxes and spending, and should provide the ability to pay those obligations. “If to finance those spending and tax decisions, it’s necessary to issue additional debt, I believe it’s very disruptive to put the president.
  • China orders top energy firms to secure supplies at all costs.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.60%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.14%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.23%.

In early trade on Friday 01st October 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R15.1122, while the euro is trading higher at R17.4986.  The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.3326.

By the close of trade on Thursday 30th September 2021, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • Australian shares have suffered their worst trading day in seven months, on persisting worries about rising inflation and the uncertainty surrounding cash-strapped Chinese property developer Evergrande. By 12:15pm AEST, the benchmark ASX 200 was down 169 points (or 2.3 per cent) to 7,172. This was its biggest daily percentage drop since late February. Essentially, the local share market has wiped out all its gains since early June, over the course of this volatile week.
  • Italy will spend 1.2 billion euro ($1.4 billion) of European Union cash on a fund aimed at helping the country’s small and medium-sized companies modernize and invest. The money, distributed through state-company Simest, will support such businesses with digital and green transition investments, participation in fairs and exhibitions, and development of e-commerce in foreign countries, according to a press release Thursday. Italy is the biggest beneficiary of the EU’s Recovery Fund, with about 200 billion euros in grants and loans coming its way in the next few years.
  • In the eurozone, the unemployment rate continued to decline in August, following re-openings of regional economies after the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
  • In the UK, the economy grew by more than expected in 2Q21.
  • In Germany, the unemployment rate fell in September, even as supply constraints damaging industrial firms have not recovered yet.
  • The European Commission wants to phase out state support to companies next year that’s seen governments pledge or give some 3 trillion euros ($3.5 trillion) to keep businesses going during the pandemic. Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner who checks on state aid, is asking European Union governments to back “a progressive phase out of crisis support measures” which will end many support programs by June 30. “We are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel, with the European economy bouncing back strongly,” she said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

In early trade on Friday 01st October 2021, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1625, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8665.