What a ride, yesterday saw the rand deep into unknown territory hitting a record high of 19.34 and then by the close of trade on Monday, the South African rand strengthened against the US dollar.

  • Locally, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) stated in its monetary policy review that the local economy could contract by between 2.0% to 4.0% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It indicated that the outlook is highly uncertain, but it is plausible the deficit will exceed 10.0% of GDP this year.
  • In the US, the New York Federal Reserve (Fed) stated that it would buy commercial paper issued by corporations, banks and municipalities that have struggled to raise cash. Further, the US Fed moved to bolster a new small-business lending program by allowing banks to turn those loans over to the central bank for cash, easing concerns among banks about getting stuck with the low interest loans.
  • President Donald Trump said on Monday that OPEC had not pressed him to ask U.S. oil producers to reduce their output to support global prices, which have been hard-hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump said U.S. oil production had already fallen, anyway.
  • President Trump stated yesterday, that he aims to try and lift restrictions by April 30.
  • The yield on benchmark government bonds ended mixed yesterday. The yield on 2021 bond advanced to 5.01% while that for the longer-dated 2030 issue fell to 11.30%.

In early trade on Tuesday, the US dollar is trading 0.2% higher against the South African rand at R18.7024, while the euro is trading 0.3% higher at R20.2042.    The British pound has gained 0.4% against the South African rand to trade at R22.9244.

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

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained in intensive care Tuesday for treatment of his coronavirus illness, while authorities in New York hoped that a leveling off of deaths and new hospitalizations would hold and signal that the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak had turned a corner.
  • The eurozone‘s investor morale plunged to an all-time low in April.
  • German factory orders dropped less-than-expected on a monthly basis in February, with a sharp fall in orders from abroad hinting at the likely impact of the coronavirus on the exporting powerhouse’s economic prospects.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged on Monday to roll out an unprecedented economic stimulus package, equal to 20% of economic output, as his government vowed to take “all steps” to battle deepening fallout from the coronavirus. The package, to be confirmed by the cabinet on Tuesday, will total 108 trillion yen.

In early trade on Tuesday, the euro has advanced 0.1% against the US dollar to trade at $1.0808, while it has weakened 0.1% against the British pound to trade at GBP0.8814.

One more person has died from the coronavirus, as the number of positive Covid-19 cases has gone up to 1 686, an increase of 31.  The death toll is now at 12.


1,338,962 confirmed cases

73,920 reported deaths

276,171 recovered*

South Africa

Confirmed 1,686

Dead 12

Recovered 95

Contracted Today 0

Died Today 0

Last updated Apr 7, 2020