1. Unhappy employees will march to Eskom’s head office in Sunninghill today, which could affect our power supply. Already yesterday, some of Eskom’s power stations were operating below full capacity as union members blocked staff from entering some 10 plants. Unions are demanding a salary hike of 15%, while Eskom is offering 0%. Meanwhile, Cosatu says Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has committed to help bolster Eskom’s wage offer. Negotiations have been referred to the CCMA.
2. Yesterday, the rand slumped to R13.3975 to the dollar, its weakest level since December. This morning, it was trading at R13.30
3. As expected, the US central bank increased interest rates yesterday – and the Fed now expects to hike it two more times before the end of the year. Later today, the European central bank will announce whether it will end quantitative easing – central banks have been injecting money into Western economies since the global financial crisis a decade ago.
4. After images of the new bank notes leaked online, the SA Reserve Bank yesterday released the designs of the new R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 banknotes, and R5 coins, which will from July 18 commemorate Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.
5. Bitcoin has now lost half its value this year after dropping another 12% yesterday. The blockchain currency is currently under fire after a hacking attack on the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail. Bitcoin is facing pressure from regulators across the world. Transactions in the currency are also dwindling.
David Shapiro, deputy chair of Sasfin Securities, yesterday shared a chart of the 50 worst performers on JSE (excluding very small shares).
Shapiro says that the slowing economy is evident in the performance of financials, including PSG, Discovery, Capitec, Coronation and Sasfin. “Former hot stocks Blue Label, DisChem, EOH, Curro and Stadio (are) also on the list. Construction (is) a disaster.”
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