LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1

TOTAL DAYS 555 – 07 HOURS 32 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 210
New cases  989
New Deaths 123
Recovery Rate 95,8%
Vaccines Administered 18,735,127

By the close of trade on Thursday 7th October 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar. Globally, financial systems have remained resilient despite the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and are supporting economic recoveries. Aided by expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, output has rebounded in most economies, particularly those with a more progressed vaccination rollout. Improved economic conditions have seen increased earnings for businesses and households, strengthening balance sheets and debt repayment capacities.

  • In the US, initial jobless claims dropped in the week ended 1 October, indicating that the domestic labour market is back on track following a slowdown in coronavirus infections.
  • The number to watch for on today’s U.S. payrolls report is 200,000. Anything below that would prompt investors to question the health of the economy and send Treasury yields lower in the near term, according to all eight strategists surveyed by Bloomberg. Such a scenario would boost bets for a delay or a slower pace of Federal Reserve tapering. Yet, the figure is less than half of the median of economists’ estimates at 500,000. While most investors see Fed tapering as a certainty on the horizon, they await clarity on its timing and speed.
  • Investment bank JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) has estimated that troubled Chinese property giant Evergrande and many of its major rivals have billions of dollars worth of off-balance sheet debt that, once added on, ramp up their leverage ratios. JPMorgan’s China and Hong Kong property analysts said the tactic is likely to have been used to help firms look like they were conforming with new borrowing cap rules introduced last year, but Evergrande’s case looks the most extreme.
  • The Pandora Papers investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a non-profit newsroom and network of journalists based in Washington, D.C., has revealed there are still some go-to havens for those looking to hide illicit wealth. The people who don’t get mentioned as much in the media coverage of the Pandora Papers, however, are the enablers devoted to helping the richest people in the world get richer and to pass on their wealth while avoiding or evading taxes. These enablers help criminals and kleptocrats launder their ill-gotten gains.
  • Treasury Department officials are debating whether the U.S., the International Monetary Fund’s largest shareholder, should ask Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva to resign amid an ethics scandal, people familiar with the situation said. The Treasury’s deliberation continues as the Washington-based fund said its executive board met with Georgieva on Wednesday as part of its ongoing review of an investigation by law firm WilmerHale, commissioned by the World Bank. It alleged that she pressured bank staff to adjust a ranking in China’s favor while working there previously.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds were mixed yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond stood at 7.82%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.21%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.43%.

In early trade on Friday 8th October 2021, the US dollar is trading marginally lower against the South African rand at R14.9624, while the euro is trading marginally lower at R17.2826.  The British pound has marginally declined against the South African rand to trade at R20.3548.

By the close of trade on Thursday 7th October 2021, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • In Germany, industrial output declined to its lowest level in August, amid supply chain disruptions that hurdled the growth and affected the auto sector particularly.
  • The eurozone, the European Central Bank (ECB) Chief Economists, Philip Lane and Isabel Schnabel repeated that the rise in price growth would ease next year as the effects of a post-pandemic bounce disappear. The ECB estimated inflation rates at 2.2% for the current year, 1.7% for the next year and 1.5% for 2023. The monetary policy account from the ECB’s September monetary policy meeting showed that upside inflation risks were increasingly discussed. In fact, it was noted that as for the assessment of the inflation outlook, a significant improvement over the course of the year was acknowledged. Further, it was argued that if supply bottlenecks lasted longer and fed through into higher than anticipated wage rises, price pressures could be more persistent.

In early trade on Friday 8th October 2021, the euro has marginally advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1562, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8478.