Vaccine rollout day 261
New cases 2858
New Deaths 6
Recovery Rate 96,2%
Vaccines Administered 25,288,417

By the close of trade on Friday, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.  A junior scientist who works at a Lancet Laboratories facility in Pretoria noticed an anomaly with a single test result one afternoon in early November. Her observation set in motion a sequence of events that would lead to the announcement that a new coronavirus variant had been discovered. The world immediately shivered!  President Cyril Ramaphosa has ripped into the international community, warning that restricting southern African travelers is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Britain, currently chair of the G7 group of nations, on Sunday called for an emergency meeting to discuss the Covid crisis, after several European countries announced cases of the new Omicron variant.

“Under the UK presidency an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers will also be convened on Monday 29 November to discuss the developments on Omicron,” said Britain’s health ministry.

  • The foreign-exchange market stabilized after Friday’s volatility amid signs the Omicron coronavirus variant causes only mild symptoms and vaccine reformulations against it can be achieved quickly. The U.S. dollar rose modestly against the yen, euro and pound in early trading in Sydney. The currency of South Africa, where the variant was identified, rose as much as 0.9% against the greenback.
  • In South Africa, President, Cyril Ramaphosa has called on countries to “urgently” reverse “scientifically unjustified” travel restrictions linked to the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus. As of Sunday the cumulative number of COVID19 cases identified in SA is 2 961 406 with 2 858 new cases reported. Today 6 deaths have been reported bringing the total to 89 797?deaths. The cumulative number of recoveries now stand at 2 847 771 with a recovery rate of 96,2%
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds mostly rose on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 8.18%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.24%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.90%.

In early trade on Monday, the US dollar is trading  lower against the South African rand at R16.1486, while the euro is trading lower at R18.2162.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R21.5296.

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

  • The euro zone is better equipped to face the economic impact of a new wave of COVID-19 infections or the Omicron variant, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said. Several European countries have introduced restrictive measures due to a new increase in COVID-19 infections. The new coronavirus variant Omicron was detected in South Africa on Friday and has spread rapidly across Europe. “There is an obvious concern about the economic recovery [of the euro zone] in 2022, but I believe we have learnt a lot. We now know our enemy and what measures to take.
  • Pound Sterling suffered heavy losses against low-yielding funding currencies and perceived safe-havens ahead of the weekend after a new strain of the coronavirus prompted a global market panic, which could have differing implications for GBP/EUR and GBP/USD going forward. Sterling sustained its steepest losses against the safe-haven Swiss Franc on Friday but was also deep in the red against the Japanese Yen and Euro while seeing more modest declines against the U.S. Dollar as investors responded to the discovery of a new coronavirus strain in Africa.
  • Japan will reinstate tough border measures, barring all new foreign arrivals over the Omicron Covid variant, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Monday, just weeks after a softening of strict entry rules.

In early trade on Monday 29th November 2021, the euro has slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1286, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8476.