LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1

TOTAL DAYS 592 – 07 HOURS 40 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 241
New cases  205
New Deaths  13
Recovery Rate 96,4%
Vaccines Administered 23,151,823

By the close of trade on Friday, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.  The prince of darkness has SA firmly in his grasp as blackouts are set for longer periods. Contractual disputes between Eskom and Tenova Mining and Minerals SA have resulted in halting critical work at Kusile’s units five and six, raising fears that their commercial operation could delay by several months.

  • The ANC, who suffered major losses in the municipal election last week, have had their woes compounded as the DA, IFP and GOOD have all shut them out of coalition talks.
  • In the US, employment increased more than expected in October as the surge in COVID-19 infections receded, indicating that domestic economic activity regained momentum in 4Q21. Moreover, unemployment rate also dropped more than expected in October.
  • After Friday night’s 11th-hour vote in the House resulted in the passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill thanks to 13 uniparty Republicans who joined the Congressional Black Caucus in short-sheeting House Progressives.  This is the largest investment in infrastructure in more than a decade.
  • Disputes over commitments to tackle climate change are the latest flashpoint in tensions between the U.S. and China. Biden, in recent days, has rebuked China, saying President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip a United Nations (U.N.) climate summit was a “big mistake” because it would diminish Beijing’s influence. China subsequently hit back at the U.S. over the criticism. The sparks show that even in issues that require international cooperation such as climate change, the strained U.S.-China relationship still reverberates.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 8.03%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.40%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.42%.

In early trade on Monday 8th November 2021, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R15.0186, while the euro is trading lower at R17.3624.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R20.2536.

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

  • A UK move to suspend parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol could see the EU doing likewise with the Brexit trade deal, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has warned. Mr. Coveney said it appeared the UK was set to follow through with its threat to trigger the Article 16 suspension mechanism within the post-Brexit arrangements for Irish Sea trade. He said it looked as though the UK was laying the foundations to make the move when the Cop26 conference in Glasgow was over. Mr. Coveney said the EU would respond in a “very serious way” to such a unilateral act.
  • In Germany, industrial production unexpectedly dropped in September, amid supply constrains for raw and preliminary materials.
  • In the eurozone, retail sales dropped in September, amid supply bottlenecks and underperformance by non-food sales.
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member, Fabio Panetta stated that the ECB needs to issue a digital euro as yielding the space entirely to private sector initiatives like Stablecoins could endanger financial stability and weaken the role of the central bank. Also, ECB’s Vice President, Luis de Guindos stated that inflation is coming down slower than expected carrying, thus a risk that some of the price pressure would become long-lasting.

In early trade on Monday 8th November 2021, the euro slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1562, while it has marginally gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8586.