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August 2020 economic update

Apple hit a market cap of $2 trillion for the first time this month.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an easing of the lockdown to level 2 from August 17, whilst extending the state of disaster by 30 days to September 15.
  • There has a been a 40% decrease in crime during the first three months of lockdown but almost 300 000 South Africans have been arrested contravening the lockdown regulations since March.
  • The S&P 500 hit new highs this month – up 55% from the lows recorded in March. This marks the strongest bear market recovery in history.
  • Two people from China who contracted the Covid-19 virus months back have again tested positive for the virus. This raised concern that the virus can reappear in people who have been previously infected.
  • While in Hong Kong, its first reported case has after four-and-a-half months been re-infected with Covid-19, but with a different strain. The global number of Covid-19 cases surpassed 25 million.
  • Russia registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine “Sputnik V”, which they will start mass testing on 40 000 people. Testing will be overseen by a foreign research body.
  • According to research done on 3.2 million US office workers, your workday has been stretched longer by 48 minutes a day if you are working from home.
  • Apple hit a market cap of $2 trillion for the first time this month. This means that Apple is now worth more than the annual GDP of Brazil.
  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought more than 5% stakes in each of the five leading Japanese trading companies. This boosted Japan’s Nikkei which gained more than 1% for the month.
  •  One-month index movements:
    • JSE All Share Index: -0.26%
    • S&P 500 (US): -0.21%
    • FTSE (UK): -0.61%
    • Nikkei (JPY): 1.12%

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