T-11 HOURS TILL LOCKDOWN

As we hurtle towards lockdown, I understand there are over 3 Billion people around the Globe already in lockdown protocols. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those SAPS / SANDF / First responders and Medical fraternity that have to keep the Republic safe.  This is not going to be an easy task!

By the close of trade on Wednesday, the South African rand advanced against the US dollar.

  • The SARB announced liquidity measures to promote the smooth functioning of local financial markets.
  • In the US, durable goods orders jumped in February, buoyed by an increase in the bookings for new autos. The housing price index advanced came in line with market expectations on a monthly basis in January. On the other hand, mortgage applications further dropped last week.
  • The Senate passed a historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package Wednesday night, as it tries to stem the destruction the pandemic has brought to American lives and wallets.  US stocks climbed on Wednesday after the White House and the Senate reached an agreement overnight on a relief package to fight the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Anywhere between about 1 million and 4 million people were expected to have filed for unemployment benefits last week, the largest number ever in such a short time. The filings figure, which will be released Thursday morning before the bell, are the first indication of how hard the labor force is being hit by the abrupt shutdown of a large part of the U.S.
  • The US military has suspended all travel, deployments, exercises for the entire US Army.
  • The coronavirus pandemic and oil price collapse have made emerging markets a lightning rod for volatile capital flows, raising the question whether currency controls might creep back on the radar of some of the worst-hit countries.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds fell on Friday. The yield on 2021 bond declined to 5.36% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 11.67%.

In early trade on Thursday, the US dollar is trading 0.2% higher against the South African rand at R17.3680, while the euro is trading 0.5% higher at R18.9560.  The British pound has declined 0.1% against the South African rand to trade at R20.5965.

By the close of trade on Wednesday, the euro mostly declined against most of the major currencies.

  • The Bank of England and Britain’s finance ministry will resume their coordinated drive on Thursday to prevent the coronavirus-related shutdown of swathes of the economy from triggering a long and deep recession.
  • Germany’s IFO business sentiment for March registered its steepest fall in March since the country’s reunification in 1990.
  • Moreover, the nation’s expectations index dipped more-than-expected during the same month.

In early trade on Thursday, the euro advanced 0.3% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0916, while it has gained 0.4% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.9204

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS STATS

465,274 confirmed cases

21,116 reported deaths

113,610 recovered*

Last updated Mar 26, 2020

South Africa

Confirmed 709

Dead 0

Recovered12

Contracted Today 0

Died Today 0