These are the mid rates at 7:20 today:

USD = R19.55 AUD = R12.91
GBP = R24.31 DXY = 104.14
EUR = R20.92Brent Crude = $76.93 per barrel

The Rand had a reason to be cheerful late last week as rather than crashing through R20.00 to the Dollar we pulled back to R19.60 on Thursday, and then continued our charge on Friday to hit the week’s best level of R19.42.  We open today on the back foot a little with a slide to R19.57 but it was great to see that the Rand can travel in both directions again.  

The Rand’s good fortunes last week were largely thanks to events in the US.  First came a string of FED speakers on Thursday all saying that interest rates in the States should be left unchanged in their June 14 meeting which would give them time to assess the impacts of recent hikes on inflation without putting undue strain on the economy.  The Dollar Index plunged from a two month high of 104.70 down to 103.58 and this allowed the Rand to go from yet another record low of R19.91 to R19.60 on the day. 

President Joe Biden signed legislation averting a US debt default, sidestepping a catastrophic blow to the economy with a bipartisan victory that defied Washington expectations. The measure brokered with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy limits federal spending for two years and suspends the debt ceiling through the 2024 election. It cleared the House and Senate by wide margins, cementing Biden’s reputation as a pragmatic dealmaker as he prepares to intensify his reelection run. Biden signed the bill behind closed doors without a ceremony.

The International Monetary Fund has yet to see enough banks pulling back on lending that would cause the U.S. Federal Reserve to change course with its rate-hiking cycle. “We don’t yet see a significant slowdown in lending. There is some, but not on the scale that would lead to the Fed stepping back,” the IMF’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC’s Karen Tso Saturday in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

The influential Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, on Sunday made no changes to its planned oil production cuts for this year, as coalition chair Saudi Arabia announced further voluntary declines. OPEC+ also announced in a statement that it will limit combined oil production to 40.463 million barrels per day over January-December 2024. Previously, the alliance agreed to a 2 million barrels-per-day decline in October. Some OPEC+ members also announced some voluntary drops of just over 1.6 million barrels per day in April.

China’s defence minister said on Sunday that conflict with the United States would be an “unbearable disaster” and his country seeks dialogue over confrontation, despite refusing American demands for military-to-military talks. Speaking at Asia’s top security summit, the Shangri-La Dialogue, dressed in the uniform of a general in the People’s Liberation Army, General Li Shangfu said the world was big enough for China and the US to grow together. “China and the US have different systems and are different in many other ways,” he said in a speech that marked his first significant international address. Latest survey data signalled a further strong recovery in Chinese services activity in May, which expanded at the second-sharpest rate since November 2020. The upturn coincided with a steeper increase in total new orders and sustained rise in new export business amid reports of stronger market conditions and increased customer turnout. As a result, companies continued to add to their payroll numbers, albeit modestly, while backlogs rose further. Average input costs increased solidly, which contributed to a steeper rise in prices charged. Companies remained optimistic that activity would increase over the next year.

Hundreds of people have contacted the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation (OLG) to claim they might be the owner of a $70-million Lotto Max prize set to expire later this month. The OLG has encouraged people to check their tickets for the June 28, 2022 draw, noting the ticket that won the jackpot was sold in Toronto’s Scarborough area. According to the OLG, the $70-million winning ticket has yet to be claimed and will expire on June 28, 2023, unless the rightful ticket holder comes forward.


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