LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1

TOTAL DAYS 617 – 07 HOURS 40 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 263
New cases  11535
New Deaths  44
Recovery Rate 95,4%
Vaccines Administered 26,109,436

As of Thursday, the cumulative number of COVID19 cases identified in SA is 2 988 148 with 11 535 new cases reported. Today 44 deaths have been reported bringing the total to 89 915 deaths. The cumulative number of recoveries now stand at 2 850 905 with a recovery rate of 95,4%

By the close of trade on Thursday 2nd December 2021, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • In the US, initial jobless claims increased less than expected for the week ended 26 November, indicating towards tightening domestic labour market conditions, while layoffs tumbled to the lowest level in 28 and a half years in November. Fed on its way to faster taper On the back of new virus fears with the Omicron variant, some consumer caution is likely even if there are no plans at this stage for new government restrictions. Assuming this is a scare rather than a more serious lockdown story, rising incomes and wealth should facilitate strong consumer spending while business surveys and government infrastructure plans point to an improving investment outlook. Easing supply chain strains should also allow firms to ramp up production.
  • With Powell’s Fed having telegraphed it will accelerate the taper at this month’s meeting so it can start presumably start hiking as soon as June of 2022, the November payrolls report may be moot although traders will be looking for barbell signs: will it be strong enough to validate an accelerated taper, or could it come so far below expectations that the Fed will be forced to delay its taper-boosting plans.
  • Latest PMI data showed a further expansion of service sector activity across China during November, but growth softened from October amid the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. New order inflows rose only slightly, while growth in new export business remained mild. Nonetheless, firms were strongly upbeat regarding the 12-month outlook for activity, and continued to increase their staffing levels. Higher labour, raw materials and energy costs all drove a sharper rise in input costs, however, which contributed to a further increase in output charges.
  • The Senate cleared a temporary spending bill Thursday night that would keep the lights on at federal agencies through Feb. 18, buying 11 more weeks to try to resolve partisan disputes over funding levels and policy riders that have stalled progress on fiscal 2022 appropriations. The stopgap measure passed the House on a 221-212 vote earlier in the evening and cleared the Senate on a 69-28 vote. The Senate first voted 48-50 to reject an amendment from a group of Republican conservatives to bar funding to implement a new private sector vaccine mandate as well as requirements for federal employees, federal contractors.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the country is preparing for a “nightmare of military confrontation” if NATO continues to expand further eastwards. Speaking at a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Stockholm, Lavrov suggested a new European security pact that would restrict NATO actions in the East, particularly in Ukraine. Russia has denied it is preparing for an attack against Ukraine and accused its neighbor of a military buildup. Ukraine said Russia has amassed more than 90,000 troops near the border.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell yesterday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.98%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 4.97%, while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.64%.

In early trade on Friday 3rd December 2021, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R15.9686, while the euro is trading higher at R18.0348.  The British pound has gained against the South African rand to trade at R21.2168.

By the close of trade on Thursday 2nd December 2021, the euro declined against most of the major currencies.

  • In the eurozone, the producer price index (PPI) accelerated more than expected in October, amid surging energy prices. Unemployment in the eurozone dropped in October.
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) board member, Fabio Panetta stated that the current inflation spike is temporary and driven largely by supply factors and that global central banks should have the patience to look through these effects and explain their policies to the people.
  • Australia’s unemployment rate is likely to fall to the “low fours” next year, sparking an eagerly-awaited increase in wages growth and creating conditions for interest-rate liftoff, said Sally Auld, chief investment officer at JBWere Ltd. “To get a rate hike by the end of the year, you need all the numbers to print in the right zone both on wages and on core inflation.  Auld, who advises clients at National Australia Bank Ltd.’s private wealth arm, said in an interview. “I think it’ll be the fourth quarter of next year or first quarter 2023.”
  • China’s rare “emergency meeting” with the Japanese ambassador over erroneous remarks made by Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe on Taiwan question was powerful and necessary at a time when the shadow of Abe that went through the Yoshihide Suga cabinet is now reaching Fumio Kishida’s administration, which aims to affect Kishida’s policies with Abe’s extreme right-wing thought and militarism, Chinese observers said on Thursday.
  • The U.K. Treasury is close to appointing David Miles, a former Morgan Stanley economist and Bank of England rate-setter, to one of the nation’s most influential economic policy jobs. Miles, a professor of economics at Imperial College London, is set to become head of macroeconomic forecasting at the Office of Budget Responsibility, which serves as Britain’s fiscal watchdog, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the details are private.

In early trade on Friday 3rd December 2021, the euro slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1326, while it has gained against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8512.