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New horizons

Good morning! First up congrats to the Wallabies, who defeated France 33-30 to win their first series at home since 2014 despite copping perhaps the worst ever red card decision in the first 5 minutes of the match.

Unfortunately that's where the good news ends, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian conceding her state's initial lockdown had failed to slow the COVID-19 outbreak, hardening restrictions over the weekend by closing the entire construction industry and defining 'essential' businesses for the first time.

In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews said: "It is too early for us to determine whether we will be able to come out of this lockdown on Tuesday night." 😣

Markets

Weekly % change

AUD/USD

74.2

-0.1%

10Y Bond

1.26

-6.7%

ASX200

7,348

+1.3%

Brent (bbl)

73.1

-3.3%

Gold (oz)

1,813

+0.2%

Iron ore (t)

213.9

+4.3%

Bitcoin

31,683

-6.3%

Note: Brent oil, gold bullion and iron ore prices are the second futures contract.

In the US the S&P500 closed down 0.75% on Friday, snapping a 3-week winning streak after a new consumer survey showed that inflation concerns continue to grow.

Kiwiflation: New Zealand's consumer price index rose 3.3% in the second quarter, the fastest pace in a decade and above the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's 1-3% target band. The increase was driven by rising prices for housing, food, fuel and cars. Economists are now forecasting a rise in the official cash rate in August, followed by a further hike in November and again in February next year.

US inflation watch: US retail sales rose 0.6% in June, well above expectations of a 0.4% decline, although were helped by a large downward revision to the prior month. Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, said that higher prices from rising inflation may have "masked" weakness in actual sales activity. His comments came after the University of Michigan's index of US consumer sentiment fell in July to its lowest level since February, driven in part by concerns that inflation will increase 4.8% in the next year, the highest level since August 2008.

Rio disappoints: Despite record high iron ore prices, mining giant Rio Tinto reported a 12% fall in quarterly iron ore shipments due to heavy rainfall at its Pilbara operations. It now expects to ship near the lower end of its guidance of 325-340 million tonnes in calendar 2021.


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Feature

New horizons

Chart showing Australia's vaccination rate and the government's supply projections.
At the current rate, we could have 80% of adults fully vaccinated by Boxing Day.

Australia's department of health quietly updated its 'Vaccination Allocations Horizons' [PDF], which for the first time included the Moderna mRNA vaccine.

Breaking it down: Last month we covered the first appearance of this document, which showed that authorities only expected to have enough doses to vaccinate 80% of adults by around the start of November. Interestingly, the government's latest projections are more than double the actual level of production of the AstraZeneca vaccine planned by Australia's domestic vaccine manufacturer, CSL, which expects output to peak at 1 million per month. That's because the figures include "stock on hand", i.e. AstraZeneca doses that no one wanted or were being withheld for second doses. Promisingly, the expected supply of Pfizer in August was revised up by 250,000 doses per week.

Why this matters: You can't vaccinate a country without a vaccine, which has been Australia's biggest failure through this pandemic. According to these projections, even if we only used Pfizer and Moderna from now on we would have enough doses to fully vaccinate every adult by sometime in November. That's obviously not what will happen – most of the mRNA vaccine deliveries are back-ended (due sometime from October), and there are only so many doses that can be administered every day.

But that doesn't mean a fully vaccinated (80%) adult population isn't possible before Christmas – around 3-4 million people are starting to get their second AstraZeneca doses, and even at the current rate of vaccination of ~135,000 doses per week we could still be done by Boxing Day. 🤞


The Wrap Up

  • 🎾 Australia's Alex de Minaur, the 17th ranked tennis player in the world, is out of the Olympics after he tested positive to COVID-19.
  • 🏅 The Tokyo Olympics recorded 25 new COVID-19 cases among athletes, media, contractors and other personnel over the weekend. The first infection inside the athletes' village occurred on Saturday, with three athletes then testing positive on Sunday. 4 days until the opening ceremony...
  • 💉 Hungary will offer people the option of a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from 1 August, provided it has been at least 4 months since their second shot.
  • 🏖️ In Vanuatu, the sale of passports – more than half to Chinese nationals – accounted for 42% of all government revenue in 2020.
Picture showing some of the floods in Germany.
The flooding in Western Europe has been INTENSE. CNN
  • 😷 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the recent COVID-19 surge in the country as a "pandemic of the unvaccinated", with 97% of those recently hospitalised unvaccinated.
  • 🛂 Thousands took to the streets in France to protest the governments "health pass", proof of vaccination that is required to access trains, planes, restaurants and cafes.
  • 🎮 Valve announced Steam Deck, a portable handheld PC gaming device – like a supercharged Nintendo Switch. However, it's not available in Australia and the 512GB model isn't even shipping for a year.
  • 🇵🇭 Boxing legend Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao was voted out as leader of the country's ruling party on Saturday.
  • 🍁 Canada may permit fully vaccinated travellers into the country by early September.
  • 🍀 Ireland's finance minister said that the country's 12.5% corporate rate "has been a key feature of our economic policy now for decades" and he was "committed" to maintaining it.

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