LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1

TOTAL DAYS 555 – 07 HOURS 39 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 208
New cases  768
New Deaths 103
Recovery Rate 95,7%
Vaccines Administered 18,285,920

By the close of trade on Tuesday 05th October 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar. Local PMI came in at its highest since June at 50.7 from 49.9 on the index as COVID restrictions were relaxed and the economy opened more. The SARB, at their biannual monetary policy review, highlighted persistent inflation risks, saying they were well poised to tackle the issue should it continue to pose a threat.  In the JSC reviews, two of South Africa’s most internationally renowned legal minds were excluded from a shortlist for possible appointment to the Constitutional Court, primarily it appears, on the basis that they are white men.

  • In the US, the service industry activity rose in September, despite being restrained by a continuing shortage of inputs, labour and the resulting high prices. US Sector PMI™, compiled by IHS Markit, showed that all seven broad categories monitored by the surveys expanded in September, although four saw growth slow when compared to August. The decline in growth momentum had been the most apparent for the technology and consumer service sectors, with the former falling to a 14-month low. On the other hand, pandemic-related demand continued to support the healthcare sector. Basic material output growth also accelerated as firms sought to counter the ongoing supply crunch.
  • Meanwhile, a separate report from the Commerce Department indicated that US trade deficit surged 4.2% to a record $73.30bn in August.
  • President Joe Biden retains confidence in Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, a White House spokeswoman said despite Senator Elizabeth Warren assailing the central bank and its leader earlier Tuesday. “Yes, he does have confidence in Powell at this time,” a White House deputy press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters traveling with Biden aboard Air Force One. Warren said in a Senate floor speech that Powell had “failed as a leader” following revelations that top Fed officials have been actively trading securities.
  • Traders remained circumspect ahead of key payrolls report at the end of the week that could provide clues to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next move. Moves in the FX market were likely to remain largely muted for the rest of the week as investors await the update on the U.S. labor market that could help provide clues to whether the Fed will begin tapering its asset purchases before year’s end.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.78%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.16%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.48%.

In early trade on Wednesday 06th October 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R15.1025, while the euro is trading higher at R17.5122.  The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.5533.

By the close of trade on Tuesday 5th October 2021, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • In Germany, service sector activity continued to expand strongly in September, but the pace of recovery slowed with companies being affected by supply bottlenecks.
  • Business growth in the eurozone remained strong in September but rising inflationary pressures put a dent in demand while the supply bottlenecks constrained activity.
  • The producer price index (PPI) dropped more than expected in September.
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) President, Christine Lagarde stated that the ECB is closely observing inflation expectations and wage developments.
  • President Biden said on Tuesday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to abide by the status quo in light of recent military provocations carried out by China against the self-governing island. “I’ve spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree we will abide by the Taiwan agreement. That’s where we are and I made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement,” Biden told reporters.
  • The contemporary art market raked in a record-breaking $2.7 billion in sales between June 2020 and June 2021, according to Artprice’s annual report. This incredible bump follows the relative implosion of the art market during the first half of 2020, when gallery sales dipped 36 percent following the early stages of the pandemic.

In early trade on Wednesday 6th October 2021, the euro has marginally slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1632, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8626.