LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1

TOTAL DAYS 628 – 07 HOURS 45 MINUTES 

Vaccine rollout day 278
New cases  37 875
New Deaths  21
Recovery Rate 92%
Vaccines Administered 27,090,975

President Ramaphosa has now tested positive and joins the 4th wave.

On the sporting front no one can deny a thrilling Formula last race of the season.  The race came down to the wire literally as the race was restarted from a safety car with 1 lap remaining [this after race director Michael Massi made a brave call to “Lets go racing”] . This suited red bull who had thrown a last gamble and it worked as Max Verstappen on fresh softer tyres dashed for the line to claim the World Title.  Mercedes immediately objected but late last night the Stewards confirmed the race result.  Congratulations Max.

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

  • In the US, consumer price inflation accelerated more than expected in November, its highest annual increase since 1982, with higher prices for food, gasoline and rents. Consumer sentiment improved in the start of December, driven by expectations for an increase in incomes in the upcoming year.  The U.S. went on a borrowing binge last year and the hangover could make it harder for the Federal Reserve to fight inflation without crashing the economy. Corporate debt has surged $1.3 trillion since the start of 2020 as borrowers took advantage of emergency Fed action as the pandemic spread, slashing interest rates and backstopping financial markets to keep credit flowing. More debt held by more companies suggests potential risks as borrowing costs rise from currently low levels. That could create financial stability concerns for Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues as they debate removing pandemic support
  • The economic recovery from the coronavirus has always been uneven, with different parts of the world bouncing back at different speeds. But this divergence could be about to get worse, creating headaches for the policymakers who have to manage what happens next. What’s happening: The biggest central banks in the world will all make highly-anticipated announcements on policy this week. But unlike at the beginning of the pandemic, when their action to avert a global depression was highly synchronized, the responses to inflation and the Omicron variant are expected to vary widely.
  • Economists predict China will start adding fiscal stimulus in early 2022 after the country’s top officials said their key goals for the coming year include counteracting growth pressures and stabilizing the economy. Curbs on the property industry are expected to remain, while there could be fewer regulatory surprises compared with sudden moves in 2021 to rein in sectors from technology to education and entertainment, the economists said.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds rose on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond rose to 7.85%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond advanced to 5.11% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue rose to 9.47%.

In early trade on Monday 13th December 2021, the US dollar is trading lower against the South African rand at R15.9586, while the euro is trading lower at R18.0296.   The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R21.1472.

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

  • In Germany, consumer inflation was unchanged in line with the expectations.
  • In the UK, GDP increased less than expected in October, undermining expectations for a rate hike by the Bank of England (BoE).  Asking prices for homes on sale in the U.K. fell for a second month in December, indicating the property market lost momentum at the end of a strong year. The price of property coming to the market fell by 0.7% this month, Rightmove said Monday. That’s the biggest decline since January and followed a 0.6% drop in November. While the end of the year is traditionally a weaker period for property purchasers, the decline only took some of the shine off of the annual gains. Prices rose 6.3% in 2021 to reach an average of 340,167 pounds ($451,000).
  • Everyone aged 18 and over in England will have the chance to get their booster vaccine before the end of the year to combat the threat of rising Omicron variant cases, Boris Johnson has announced. The prime minister said he was launching the “Omicron Emergency Booster National Mission” to encourage everyone who is eligible to “get boosted now”. The COVID booster programme was due to be opened to over 30s today but Mr. Johnson said every adult who had their second vaccine at least three months before will now be able to book a booster jab from Wednesday, while some walk-in centres will be open from today for all adults.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a further reduction in Auckland coronavirus restrictions on Monday. “A further review of the level will take place on January 17,” Ardern added. New Zealand entered the new traffic light system on December 3. Auckland will move to orange.
  • Confidence among Japan’s large service-sector firms improved in the three months to December, a closely watched central bank survey showed, suggesting the economy was gradually emerging from the hit of the coronavirus pandemic. But big manufacturers’ confidence was flat from three months ago and companies saw business conditions worsening ahead, underscoring the fragile nature of Japan’s economic recovery. The outcome offered a mixed picture for policymakers seeking to reflate Japan’s fragile economy by maintaining ultra-loose monetary policy and a massive pandemic-relief spending package.

In early trade on Monday 13th December 2021, the euro slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1326, while it has marginally weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8586.