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Market Commentary | The week that was

On Sunday, 22nd May, power utility Eskom announced the suspension of load-shedding, due to “marginal improvement” in power-generating capacity. South Africans have been forced to endure power cuts during the evening peak for most of May, reaching a high of stage 4, as the struggling power utility faces an uphill battle. The constraints are being caused by power-generating unit breakdowns in several power stations and some units being on scheduled maintenance. Moneyweb reported on 30 May that three power stations – Tutuka, Kendal and Duvha – accounted for 44% of Eskom plant breakdowns in the 12 months to March.

News from abroad: Chinese authorities announced that some of the Covid-19 lockdown measures will be lifted this week, Wednesday. This news should result in positive sentiment in global markets. China is the last major economy still committed to a policy of containment and elimination of the virus completely in a “zero-Covid policy”. The measures, rolled out at the end of March, seems to have been successful.

On the eve of the European Union’s (EU) summit in Brussel, leaders have been trying to figure out how to get grain out of Ukraine, whose exports are normally bigger that the entire EU’s. Yesterday leaders failed to agree on a deal on a revised package of sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Talks will continue during the week.

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