LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1

TOTAL DAYS 605 – 07 HOURS 30 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 253
New cases  687
New Deaths  2
Recovery Rate 96,3%
Vaccines Administered 24,646,053

By the close of trade on Friday 19th November 2021, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.

  • In the US, the Federal Reserve (Fed) Vice Chairman, Richard Clarida announced that central banks in different countries can usefully share analysis and may adopt similar policies in response to common global shocks, but explicit coordination would likely do more harm than good.
  • President Joe Biden has offered multiple responses to spiking inflation: investigating gas prices, smoothing supply chains, touting benefit programs. None offers Americans much immediate relief. At the same time, Biden has resisted one step that would: Lifting tariffs on Chinese imports would save the average household hundreds of dollars a year. Just as tempting, it would reverse the failed trade war policy of his discredited predecessor, Donald Trump. But strategic and political considerations outweigh the allure.
  • The U.S. has shared intelligence including maps with European allies that shows a buildup of Russian troops and artillery to prepare for a rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations if President Vladimir Putin decided to invade, according to people familiar with the conversations. That intelligence has been conveyed to some NATO members over the past week to back up U.S. concerns about Putin’s possible intentions and an increasingly frantic diplomatic effort to deter him from any incursion, with European leaders engaging directly with the Russian president.
  • An organization formed by key participants in China’s currency market urged banks to limit speculative foreign-exchange trading after the yuan climbed to a six-year high versus peers. The China Foreign Exchange Committee founded under guidance from the central bank encouraged lenders to be risk-neutral when trading foreign exchange for themselves and for clients, according to people familiar with the matter. Banks were advised to better track their proprietary trading and improve risk management, the people said, citing a proposal made by core members of the organization that was circulated to members.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly rose on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond stood at 7.97%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.26%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.49%.

In early trade on Monday 22nd November 2021, the US dollar is trading marginally higher against the South African rand at R15.7356, while the euro is trading lower at R17.7378.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R21.1426.

By the close of trading on Friday, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • In Germany, the producer price index (PPI) surged more than expected in October.
  • Asian stocks made a soft start to the week on Monday while oil and the euro were under pressure, as the return of COVID-19 restrictions in Europe and talk about hastened tapering from the U.S. Federal Reserve put investors on guard. Oil futures skidded about 1per cent at the open, sending Brent crude and U.S. crude to seven-week lows of US$78.05 and US$74.76 respectively amid oversupply concerns. Australian shares fell 0.4per cent, led by bank stock losses. Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.3per cent and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares was flat.
  • In the eurozone, the adjusted current account surplus rose in September.
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) President, Christine Lagarde restated that the conditions to increase the interest rates are less likely to be satisfied by next year.
  • In the UK, consumer confidence boosted in November buoyed by consumers spending more on expensive items despite rising inflation. Retail sales in surged in October, as shoppers shop for new cloths for Christmas. The Bank of England’s top two officials raised questions about the certainty of an interest-rate increase in December, noting the decision would be finely balanced. Governor Andrew Bailey told the Sunday Times that risks to the U.K. economy are “two-sided” at the moment, with slowing growth and rising inflation. That echoed comments made Friday by Chief Economist Huw Pill. Bailey also emphasized that the BOE will have to act if “second-round effects, particularly in wage bargaining and the labor market” start seeping though into higher prices.

In early trade on Monday 22nd November 2021, the euro slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1286, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8396.