LOCKDOWN LEVEL 1 [Curfew Removed]

TOTAL DAYS 644 – 07 HOURS 40 MINUTES

Vaccine rollout day 287
New cases 4379
New Deaths 30
Recovery Rate 92,1%
Vaccines Administered 27,977,830

As of today the cumulative number of COVID19 cases identified in SA is 3 472 436  with 4 379 new cases reported. Today 30 deaths have been reported bringing the total to 91 228 deaths. The cumulative number of recoveries now stand at 3 197 017 with a recovery rate of 92.1%

Welcome to 2022. There’s no rest for the wicked this week. We start with the key US jobs report. After the labour sector ended 2021 on a down note, will this week’s nonfarm payrolls print give us reasons to be cheerful? Be on the lookout for the latest Fed minutes following the FOMC’s decision to accelerate tapering as well as OPEC-JMMC meetings in the wake of higher Omicron cases worldwide. Nonfarm payrolls US jobs market to start 2022 on the front foot? A new year brings with it a new nonfarm payrolls print. Friday January 7th’s release will be reporting jobs data for December 2021.

By the close of trade on Friday 31st December 2021, the South African rand weakened against the US dollar.

  • In the US, a surge in the Covid-19 Omicron variant cases has led to top Federal Health officials looking to add a negative test along with its five-day isolation restrictions for asymptomatic individual who catch the coronavirus.
  • Troubled Chinese property giant Evergrande’s shares have been suspended from trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The company did not give a reason for the halt. The news came after Chinese media reported that Evergrande had been ordered to demolish 39 luxury apartments on the tropical island of Hainan within 10 days. It is reported that the apartments are worth about 7.7 billion yuan ($1.7 billion). The Ocean Flower Island project, a mega-resort under development by Evergrande, consists of three reclaimed Islands in Danzhou in Hainan province.
  • China added $16.7 billion in foreign debt in the third quarter of 2021 due in part to increased purchases of onshore yuan-denominated bonds by foreign investors. About 47% of China’s outstanding debt of $2.7 trillion at the end of September are medium to long-term obligations, up three percentage points from the end of June, Wang Chunying, deputy director and spokesman of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said in a statement released on Friday.
  • Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has announced his resignation just weeks after he was reinstated in a controversial deal with the military. The army seized power in October and put Mr Hamdok under house arrest, but he was reinstated following a power-sharing deal with the coup’s leader. Protesters rejected the deal, demanding an entirely civilian political rule. His resignation followed another day of protests, where medics said at least two were killed.
  • President Joe Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty on Sunday in a call with the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Biden said the U.S. and its allies and partners “will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. The leaders expressed support for diplomatic efforts through a series of meetings starting next week with the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue, at NATO through the NATO-Russia Council, and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, she said.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2026 bond fell to 7.83%. Further, the yield on 2023 bond declined to 5.13% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 9.34%.

In early trade on Monday 3rd January 2022, the US dollar is trading higher against the South African rand at R15.9736, while the euro is trading lower at R18.1186.  The British pound has declined against the South African rand to trade at R21.5636.

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

  • The new year got off to a mixed start on Monday in holiday-thinned Asian trade, following a healthy run-up at the end of last week, with some cheer provided by data suggesting regional economies improved last month. However, investors remain shackled by concerns about a range of issues including the fast-spreading Omicron variant, inflation, the removal of central bank stimulus and geopolitical tensions. While the last few months of 2021 were marked by uncertainty on trading floors, global stocks enjoyed blockbuster rallies in 2021 as economies reopened and lives in most countries returned to some semblance of normality.
  • In eurozone and Germany, investors await the release of manufacturing activity data for December.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged Australians to remain calm and to not be alarmed about the sharp rise in cases and hospitalisations figures. The national number of COVID-19 hospitalisations is approaching 2,000 with 1,963 noted on Monday, after the 1,769 tally on Sunday. New South Wales accounts for the majority of those numbers with 1,204 people hospitalised with the virus on Monday. With more than 2,500 health workers furloughed, the health system is coming under increasing strain.

In early trade on Monday 3rd January 2022, the euro slipped against the US dollar to trade at $1.1358, while it has weakened against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8424.

FROM ALL OF US AT THE STEWARDS FOREX DESK WE WISH YOU A GREAT 2022