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In the loop 23 November 2021

In the loop

Shireen Darmalingam

What you should know this morning:

  • The rand is weaker this morning, at R15.86/$, after closing weaker yesterday (R15.82/$*).
  • EM currencies were mixed yesterday; the CLP (+2.2%), COP (+0.6%) and BRL (+0.3%) were amongst the biggest gainers; the RUB (-1.8%), HUF (-1.2%) and TRY (-1.2%) were amongst the biggest losers.
  • Asian equity markets are mixed this morning; the Nikkei and Hang Seng are down, while the Shanghai Composite is up.
  • Covid-19 global update: cases have surpassed 258.44 million, while the death toll has surpassed 5.17 million; recoveries are at 233.91 million.
  • The US is unlikely to impose lockdown measures such as those in some EU countries.
  • The EU is reviewing its Covid digital certificates and travel policy within and outside the bloc as member nations take varying steps to counter the latest wave.
  • EU leaders’ summit next month will discuss vaccine hesitancy; there have been street protests in several member states in recent days.
  • Austria may impose fines for those who refuse being vaccinated once mandatory vaccination kicks in next year. 
  • Cases in Singapore fell for a 5th straight day as the country moves to relax some restrictions. 
  • US existing home sales rose unexpectedly in October, to a 9-month high to an annualised 6.34 million, from 6.29 million in September.
  • The increase comes as more buyers take advantage of stronger job growth and low mortgage rates.
  • The gain in October purchases reflected stronger results in the upper-end market. 
  • Sales of cheaper properties were restrained because of a lack of inventory.
  • Total sales are above pre-pandemic levels and are on track to exceed 6 million this year, the strongest since 2006.
  • Manufacturing and services PMI data releases for November are due out for several countries today — likely a mixed bag of results. 
  • SA has the 18th highest caseload, at 2.930 million; 312 new cases were reported yesterday.
  • Active cases are at 19,109; the Western Cape leads the way, with 6,326 active cases, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 3,075.
  • Covid-19 deaths rose by 10 yesterday, to 89,584; 2.821 million people (or 96.3%) have recovered from the virus.
  • 19.126 million tests have been conducted since 5 March 2020; 13,473 tests were conducted yesterday.
  • The SA positivity rate is 2.3%.
  • 24.754 million vaccines have been administered in SA to date; 11,083 vaccines were administered yesterday.
  • Scientists foresee a 4th wave of infections in December.
  • It is likely to be less severe than previous resurgences because over 34% of adults are fully vaccinated.
  • About 60-70% of the population may also have already been infected.
  • Brent crude oil is down this morning, and up by 53.1% year-to-date.
  • The gold price is down marginally this morning, and down by 4.8% year-to-date.
  • Brent crude oil is currently at $79.31/bbl; ($79.70/bbl*).
  • Gold is at $1807/oz ($1808/oz*).
  • SA CDS 211bps*, lower than Brazil 238bps* and Turkey 441bps*.
  • Yields: US 10yr at 1.62%*, German bund at -0.301%* and SA 10-year generic at 10.0%*, SA’s R186 at 8.04%*.

* Denotes yesterday’s close.

Key events and data: 

  • 09h00: SA leading indicator (September)
  • 11h00: Eurozone Markit manufacturing, services and composite PMI (November)
  • 11h30: UK Markit manufacturing, services and composite PMI (November)
  • 16h45: US Markit manufacturing, services and composite PMI (November)

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