LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1

TOTAL DAYS 566 – 07 HOURS 25 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 215
New cases  592
New Deaths 83
Recovery Rate 96,0%
Vaccines Administered 19,461,202

By the close of trade on Tuesday 12tth October 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar. Today William Shatner [Best known in Star Trek] will add a real life “sparkle” to the stars as he rides into low earth orbit aboard Jeff Bezos “starship”.

  • In South Africa, manufacturing activity increased more than expected in August, showing signs of recovery from the July civil unrest and supply constraints.  The country’s mining production had increased by 2.0% ear-on-year in August, with the biggest contributors being gold, iron ore and platinum group metals (PGMs).
  • The US Atlanta Fed President, Raphael Bostic stated that an increase in prices in 2021 tied to the pandemic has broadened. Rep. Brian Higgins says the United States is planning to lift Covid-19 restrictions at its land border next month for fully vaccinated Canadians. Higgins (D-N.Y.), who has been one of the most outspoken lawmakers pushing for the border reopening, made the announcement in a statement late Tuesday. “Strong vaccination rates in Canada made the continued border shutdown absurd and unjustifiable,” said Higgins, who co-chairs both the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group and the Northern Border Caucus.
  • Job openings declined sharply in August while hiring also fell and the level of workers quitting their jobs hit the highest level since at least late 2000, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. Employment vacancies fell to 10.44 million during the month, a drop of 659,000 from July’s upwardly revised 11.1 million, according to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Federal Reserve officials watch the JOLTS report closely for signs of slack in the labor market. The total fell well short of market expectations for 10.96 million openings, according to FactSet.
  • China Customs published the January to September month trade data (yuan terms) in the last hours, with both imports and exports up 22.6% and 22.7% YoY respectively. After the release, the trade body came out with the following headlines, citing that China’s trade still faces relatively many uncertain and unstable factors. Additional takeaways “China’s measures to stabilize foreign trade are showing results. “ “Foreign trade will soften in the fourth quarter due to last year’s high base. “ “Whole year trade expected to maintain relatively fast growth.”
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.91%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.33%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.54%.

In early trade on Wednesday 13th October 2021, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R14.9644, while the euro is trading higher at R17.2862.   The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R20.372.

By the close of trade on Tuesday 12th October 2021, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • In Germany, economic sentiment dropped for a consecutive fifth month. However, the gauge indicated towards an easing of supply constraints leading to slight recovery. The ZEW current situation in Germany dropped in October.
  • The speed of the acceleration in eurozone HICP inflation year to date is unprecedented. Having jumped from 2.2% to 3.0% in August, Eurostat’s “flash” estimate for September showed HICP inflation rising again to 3.4%, the highest rate since September 2008. Inflation has now risen by 3.7 percentage points in the nine months since December 2020 and the upward pressures continue to build. Energy was again a key driver of September’s increase, with the inflation rate of 17.4% a record high for the series.  The economic sentiment in the eurozone dropped in October.
  • Japan’s core machinery orders unexpectedly fell in August, underlining persistent pressure on businesses and the broader economy as firms struggle to shake off the drag from the coronavirus pandemic. The Cabinet Office data on Wednesday showed core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, fell 2.4% in August from the previous month, dragged down by the biggest decline in orders from manufacturers in more than five years. The contraction compared with July’s 0.9% rise, while a Reuters poll of economists had predicted 1.7% growth.
  • A quarter of a million dollars in taxpayer money has been spent by the Australian government trying to keep the original price of the country’s original submarine project with France hidden from public view. The Department of Defense and French military company Naval Group have racked up legal costs totalling $247,875 from government-funded solicitors in an attempt to keep the original price quoted by the French company a secret. The French-Australian nuclear submarine program has been shrouded in controversy.

In early trade on Wednesday 13th October 2021, the euro advanced against the US dollar to trade at $1.1546, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8482.