#Africa #Markets | 19 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares extend global recovery, volatility subsides
  • Cheaper valuations, calmer volatilities boost sentiment
  • Dollar weak; some cite US trade, budget deficits as factors

Oil Markets

  • Oil hits highest in nearly 2 weeks on Asian equity recovery
  • Some focus turns to Israel-Iran tensions
  • WTI gains more than 1 pct, highest since Feb.7
  • US WTI crude for March delivery up 1.2 pct at $62.41 a barrel (0600GMT)
  • London Brent crude up 0.8 pct at $65.36 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices inch up on weaker dollar
  • Spot gold up 0.2 pct to $1,350.51 an ounce (0120GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2 pct to $1,353.10 an ounce

Grains (16 Feb)

  • US soy falls on profit-taking; corn, wheat also weak
  • CBOT March soybean futures ended down 2-3/4 cents at $10.21-1/2 a bushel
  • March corn futures were ¼ cent lower at $3.67-1/2 a bushel
  • March soft red winter wheat fell 4 cents to $4.57-3/4 a bushel

Soft commodities (16 Feb)

  • Arabica coffee dives to 2-month low as charts weaken
  • May arabica coffee settled down 3 pct at $1.2045 per lb
  • May robusta coffee settled down 1.6 pct at $1,754 per tonne
  • May New York cocoa closed flat at $2,134 a tonne
  • May London cocoa settled up 0.4 pct at £1,507 per tonne
  • May raw sugar settled down 1.7 pct at 13.28 cents per lb
  • May white sugar settled down 1.2 pct at $356.80 per tonne

Key African events or data releases today

[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South Africa’s parliament to debate President Ramaphosa’s SONA today
  • Former Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to be buried in his village today
  • South Africa Ramaphosa’s deputy president pick & imminent cabinet reshuffle expected from today

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Congo’s cobalt hopes risk the same ruinous road as Thai rice: Russell
  • Gambia announces moratorium on death penalty
  • South Africa government, mining group agree to postpone court challenge
  • Nigeria releases 475 Boko Haram suspects for rehabilitation
  • Egypt to import 3 LNG cargoes from France’s Engie for Q2 2018 – sources
  • NBA-Basketball’s Africa Game returns to South Africa in August
  • Ethiopia says state of emergency will last six months
  • US says it “strongly disagrees” with Ethiopia’s state of emergency
  • Zambia to rearrange China loans to meet IMF conditions
  • Burundians forced to sign up to vote in referendum, opposition says
  • Ethiopia bans protests, publications that incite violence during emergency rule
  • Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM’s resignation
  • Three suicide bombers kill 18 people in northeast Nigeria’s Maiduguri – police
  • Nigeria cinema fans celebrate ‘Black Panther’ release
  • Moody’s affirms Ghana’s B3 rating, maintains stable outlook
  • S&P says Rwanda ‘B/B’ ratings affirmed outlook stable
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa hails “new dawn”, warns of tough decisions
  • Gabon seizes Veolia’s SEEG water and power unit
  • “Tough decisions” for South Africa to cut deficit – Ramaphosa
  • Eyes on South African finmin Gigaba amid talk of cabinet reshuffle before budget
  • Acacia Mining says valuing Tanzania mines for possible sale
  • Tunisia phosphate exports halted by job protests
  • Ghana’s 91-day bill yield dips to 13.34 pct
  • At least 18 killed in clash in northwest Nigeria – police
  • South Africa’s Gigaba says country must ride positive market sentiment
  • Sierra Leone voters tune in for rare presidential debate
  • Congo says six soldiers killed in clash with Rwandan army
  • Ajay Gupta, proved over Zuma ties, left South Africa for Dubai on Feb. 6 – airport
  • Zambia dollar bonds fall after IMF rejects borrowing plans
  • Malawi to cut borrowing, aims to grow economy by 7 pct – finmin
  • Mozambique’s inflation slows to 3.84 pct y/y in January
  • Eskom executive Koko resigns from South African power utility
  • IMF dismisses Zambian borrowing plan, putting loans on hold
  • Barclays Africa wins case over $83 million payout in South Africa
  • South Africa’s 3-mth t-bill average yield falls to 7.21 pct
  • South Africa’s Competition Commission fines Caxton, Independent Media for cartel conduct
  • Risk appetite lifts EM stocks, FX; South Africa enjoys moment in the sun
  • South Africa CDS hit 2-week low after Ramaphosa sworn in as president
  • Yields fall at South African inflation-linked bond auction
  • Abengoa to sell its 56 pct stake in in desalination plant in Ghana for about $26 mln
  • World Bank approves $486 mln credit to Nigerian power grid work
  • Kenyan shilling holds steady against the dollar
  • All parties need a stake in Ethiopia’s future, says opposition leader
  • African startups bet on blockchain to tackle land fraud
  • South African rand rises further after Ramaphosa sworn in as president
  • Mauritius 4-year central bank notes yield at 3.79 pct

 
N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

#Africa #Markets | 16 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares extend bounce to 5th day, dollar sags to 3-year low
  • Shares extend recovery as volatility gauges drop
  • Fall in Vix futures suggest position unwinding over for now
  • Dollar index hits 3-year low
  • Nikkei firms as Kuroda reappointed in sign of continued stimulus
  • European sharea seen up 0.3-0.4 pct at open

Oil Markets

  • US oil hits 1-wk high as dollar sags; many Asian markets shut
  • NYMEX crude for March delivery up 0.3 pct at $61.51 a barrel (0750GMT)
  • London Brent crude up 0.4 pct at $64.58

Precious metals

  • Gold prices head for biggest weekly gain in nearly 2 years
  • Spot gold up 0.4 pct at $1,358.40 an ounce (0801GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.4 pct to $1,360.90

Grains

  • Soybeans firm, set for biggest weekly gain in 7 months
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.4 pct at $4.63-3/4 a bushel
  • Most active corn futures up 0.1 pct at $3.68-1/4 a bushel
  • Most active soybean futures up 0.1 pct at $10.24-3/4 a bushel
  • Most active rice futures unchanged at $11.95 per hundredweight

Soft commodities (15 Feb)

  • Cocoa at 3-month high on weak dollar, speculative buying
  • May New York cocoa settled up 2.4 pct at $2,134 per tonne
  • May London cocoa settled up 1.1 pct at £1,501 per tonne
  • May raw sugar settled up 1.5 pct at 13.51 cents per lb
  • May white sugar settled up 1.1 pct at $361.10 pe tonne
  • May robusta coffee settled up 0.1 pct at $1,783 per tonne
  • May arabica coffee settled down 0.8 pct at $1.2415 per lb

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South Africa’s new president Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver first State of the Nation Address (SONA) today

 
Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • African startups bet on blockchain to tackle land fraud
  • South African rand rises further after Ramaphosa sworn-in as president
  • Mauritius 4-year central bank notes yield at 3.79 pct
  • Egypt military says 53 militants killed in week-long offensive
  • S&P says Nigeria’s proposed eurobond assigned ‘B’ issue rating
  • New Tunisian central bank chief promises “extraordinary measures”
  • Egypt’s central bank cuts interest rates as inflation eases
  • Nigerian economic body and state oil firm discuss gasoline price change
  • Uganda to widen relief fraud probe to UN staff, vows reforms
  • Ethiopia’s prime ministe resigns to smooth path for political reform
  • Nigerian court sets Malabu oilfield corruption case hearing for June 18
  • Investors put strong cabinet at top of South Africa’s to-do list
  • Congo defends right to explore for oil in national parks
  • Months after mudslide, Sierra Leone childrens struggle to stay in school
  • Congo says soldiers killed in border skirmish in Rwanda
  • Ramaphosa elected president of South Africa,vows anti-corruption fight
  • Ethiopia 2024 dollar bond hits 6-mth low after PM resigns
  • Nigeria launches US$2.5 bn dual-tranche bond
  • South African stocks in demand after Zuma quits, rand soars
  • South Africa’s Tutu quits as Oxfam ambassador over aid agency’s sex scandal
  • Yield on Kenya’s 91-day, 182-day and 364-day t-bills dip at auction
  • Botswana’s inflation cools to 3.1 pct in January
  • Zimbabwe’s president leads tributes to opposition leader Tsvangirai
  • Ftich rates Nigeria’s upcoming USD notes ‘B+(Exp)’
  • Nigeria tightens pricing on dual-tranche bond
  • Zambian kwacha seen gaining, Ugandan shilling losing; in week ahead
  • South Africa declares Gupta brother “fugitive from justice”
  • South Africa rating outlook not immediately affected by leadership change – S&P
  • Kenya court revokes deportation of opposition-linked lawyer
  • Zimbabwe inflation quickens to 3.52 pct y/y in January
  • Nigeria “not ruffled” by oil price drop, OPEC must focus on costs – Kachikwu
  • Kenya to appeal court ruling reversing deportation of opposition lawyer
  • South Africa oppostion EFF says will boycott election of new president Thursday
  • Moody’s says focused on policy implications from Zuma’s resignation
  • South African police arrest eight in influence-peddling probe
  • Namibia inflation slows to 3.6 pct in January

 
N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel | Ramaphosa priorities

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

This Valentine’s day past, former South African president, Jacob Zuma, likely disrupted the evening of many Africa economists. Although I made a determined effort to stay off my phone, I could not help doing so when my date happened on a close friend and had to briefly exchange pleasantries. And since we were hitherto waiting on a queue for the advertised “food special” at the cinema – the “potato chips and chicken” ended up being popcorn, by the way – I did what is considered normal these days: I took a look at my Twitter account. It was just in time for the breaking but sad news of the death of Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. Momentarily, I thought to myself: could this be a sign of what to expect from Mr Zuma’s imminent press conference? One could not be too sure: in a rambling interview earlier in the day, Mr Zuma literally dug in his heels. True to type, he did not vouchsafe his decision to give way for his deputy and freshly minted ruling African National Congress (ANC) party leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, until the very end. Such was my irritation during what seemed like another defiant speech, as I tried to also enjoy the “Black Panther” movie I was watching in tandem – the context of which should have similarly provided a hint about what was about to happen – I made up my mind Mr Zuma was about to take everyone on another merry-go-round. I had an odd feeling subsequently, deciding to take just one last look at my phone: Mr Zuma had resigned. It was with some restraint that I managed to get a hold of myself. Like most South Africans, I was quite relieved. Things moved quickly afterwards. Next day, Mr Ramaphosa was unanimously elected unopposed by the parliament and sworn-in hours later. Today (16 February), the new president shall be delivering his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). It could also perhaps be the first disciplined one in quite a while.

Momentum, momentum
So, what should Mr Ramaphosa’s priorities be? Tackling corruption should be topmost, for sure. Before Mr Zuma’s capitulation, and perhaps as a means to that end, the elite Hawks police unit made major arrests at the home of the wealthy Indian-born associates of the former president; the infamous “The Guptas”. They epitomize the rot that permeated the Zuma administration, the so-called “state capture”, which involved using their well-known friendship with the former president to peddle influence; determining who gets government tenders and even appointing ministers. This newfound momentum in the anti-corruption fight is directly attributable to Mr Ramaphosa’s “new era”; that is, even as he was still deputy president then. One day now into his presidency of the Republic, he must do his utmost to sustain the momentum; especially as his honeymoon period is likely to be just days, not weeks. A way he could immediately signal he means business would be to immediately reshuffle the cabinet he inherited. Many would be more than a tad disappointed if finance minister Malusi Gigaba is not replaced before budget day on 21 February, for instance. Considering the short notice, an experienced replacement would be needed. In this regard, there have been suggestions former finance minister Trevor Manuel might be tipped for the job. Mr Manuel’s morning jog with the president yesterday (15 Feb) on the promenade by the gorgeous beaches in Cape Town adds to speculations he might be the stopgap choice. Regardless, a new finance minister must be one that market participants like, trust and respect.

Failure not an option
At Mr Ramaphosa’s election in parliament yesterday, there was unprecedented unity; a breath of fresh air in a hitherto rancorous chamber. Of course, MPs from the ultra-leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) could not resist adding a little drama to the proceedings: after instigating a brief provocation, they staged a walkout. This was not totally surprising. In any case, at a press conference just a few hours before the presidential election, Julius Malema, the EFF leader, promised decorum by his “fighters” during Mr Ramaphosa’s SONA, today. Even so, Mr Malema still took aim at his ANC counterpart, accusing him of myriad misdemeanours, including his handling of the Marikana massacre of protesting mineworkers; victims of which are yet to be compensated. As far as the fiery EFF leader was concerned, palpably miffed at suggestions he might return to the ANC now that Mr Zuma is out of office, the problem was never just the former president but the ANC itself. So, like the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party, the EFF would rather parliament be dissolved and fresh elections called. There is little chance of that happening. For now, all the opposition parties are keen to give Mr Ramaphosa the benefit of the doubt. Their conditional support is, however, predicated on the expectation that his “new era” would be a far cry from his predecessor’s unusual ways.

#Global #Markets | 16 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Time Data/Event Previous Consensus
0700GMT Germany Wholesale Prices MoM JAN -0.3% 0.2%
0700GMT Germany Wholesale Prices YoY JAN 1.8%
0930GMT UK Retail Sales YoY JAN 1.4% 2.6%
0930GMT UK Retail Sales MoM JAN -1.5% 0.5%
1130GMT India Deposit Growth YoY 2/FEB 5.1%
1130GMT india Bank Loan Growth YoY 2/FEB 10.6%
1130GMT India Foreign Exchange Reserves 9/FEB $421.91B
1330GMT US Housing Starts MoM JAN -8.2% 3.4%
1330GMT US Building Permits MoM JAN -0.2%
1330GMT US Building Permits JAN 1.300M 1.3M
1330GMT US Housing Starts JAN 1.192M 1.234M
1500GMT US Michigan Consumer Sentiment Prel FEB 95.7 95.5
1800GMT US Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count 16/FEB 791

#Africa #Markets | 15 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Stocks climb despite rise in US inflation; dollar on defensive
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 1.3 pct, Nikkei gains 1.5 pct
  • Spreadbetters expect European stocks to open higher
  • Asia lifted as Wall St shrugs off strong US CPI and rallies
  • Dollar remains on defensive, hits 15-month low vs yen
  • Crude oil, gold supported by dollar weakness

Oil Markets

  • Oil extends gains on Saudi commitment to cut, weak dollar
  • Saudi Arabia says it is committed to cut throughout 2018
  • Weak dollar potentially spurs fuel demand
  • But US crude inventories rise as production hits fresh record
  • US WTI crude futures at $61.02 a barrel (0147GMT), up 0.7 pct
  • Brent crude futures at $64.64 per barrel, up 0.4 pct

Precious metals

  • Gold holds steady near 2-1/2-week high as dollar dips
  • Spot gold up 0.1 pct to $1,351.96 an ounce (0202GMT)
  • US gold futues down 0.2 pct to $1,355 per ounce

Grains

  • Soybeans extend gains on Argentina dry weather woes
  • Most active CBOT soybean futures up 0.2 pct at $10.19 a bushel (0217GMT)
  • Most active wheat futures up 0.4 pct at $4.57-1/2 a bushel
  • Most active corn futures up 0.1 pct at $3.67-1/2 a bushel
  • Most active soybean futures up 0.2 pct at $10.19 a bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.6 pct at $12.18 per hundredweight

Soft commodities (14 Feb)

  • New York cocoa surges to 2-1/2-month high on firm British pound
  • May New York cocoa settled up 2.4 pct at $2,084 per tonne
  • May London cocoa settled up 1 pct £1,485 per tonne
  • March robusta coffee ended up 0.3 pct at $1,811 a tonne
  • May arabica coffee settled up 0.04 pct at $1.251 per lb
  • May white sugar settled down 0.9 pct at $357.10 per tonne
  • May raw sugar settled down 1 pct at 13.31 cents per lb

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • New South African president Cyril Ramaphosa to be inaugurated; after Zuma resignation


Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South African rand hovers near 3-yr highs after Zuma quits
  • Liberia’s new president orders review of concession agreements
  • S. says watching South African political developments ‘with interest’
  • Zuma quits, ending scandal-plagued term as South African president
  • South Africa’s ANC says Zuma’s resignation gives country certainty
  • South Africa’s Zuma quits after party turns against him
  • Zambia’s President Lungu appoints new finance, mining ministers
  • Egypt orders detention of former Islamist presidential candidate
  • Tunisian central bank governor resigns on prime minister’s request
  • Malawi’s economy to grow as much as 5 percent in 2018 – IMF
  • Zimbabwe opposition leader Tsvangirai dies in South Africa
  • Banks chosen to manage new Ivory Coast Eurobond issue, PM says
  • Tanzania police probe death of opposition campaigner
  • Ask “Dr. Love”: mobile app teaches Congolese youth about safe sex
  • South Africa’s ANC: Zuma’s behaviour threatens state security
  • “We are overwhelmed,” senior refugee official says of east Congo crisis
  • Nigeria raised 176 bln naira in treasury bills on lower yields
  • First person convicted for Nigeria’s Boko Haram schoolgirl kidnap
  • Efforts to upgrade Kenya’s slums undermined by graft, lack of consultation – researchers
  • Africa Crude-Qua offered higher, Angolan market quiet
  • South African rand hits 2-1/2-year high as ANC prepares to push out Zuma
  • Ghana reports severe bird flu on farm – OIE
  • Dutch plan to build giant offshore solar power farm
  • Ethiopia frees journalist jailed since 2011
  • Cairo butcher offers shelter for children with cancer
  • Sudan inflation spikes to 52.37 pct in January after currency slide
  • Libya’s supreme court blocks legal challenges to draft constitution
  • UK freezes $800,000 in assets under Congo sanctions
  • Tunisian central bank governor says will resign after PM asked him to quit-parliament website
  • Nigeria selling 176 bln naira treasury bills on Wednesday -traders
  • South Africa’s ANC says positive to hear Zuma will not defy party
  • Australia’s EMR Capital plans to double output at Zambia’s Lubambe copper mine
  • Angola approves 2018 state budget forecasting 4.9 pct growth
  • South Africa’s Zuma says ANC order for him to step down is “unfair”
  • Algeria’s Sonatrach, Italy’s Saipem agree to end disputes – executives
  • Scientists, fishermen in Macedonia team up to save rare trout
  • Appeal court rules Nigerians cannot pursue Shell spill claim in England
  • Iraq wheat, rice imports to depend on local harvest in 2018 – minister
  • Angola’s inflation slows to 22.72 percent year/year in January
  • Egyptian authorities detain former Islamist presidential candidate
  • Hungary to invest $172 mln in Angolan economy
  • Tanzania police probe death of opposition campaigner
  • No Gupta family member arrested in South Africa police raids -lawyer
  • Libya’s supreme court blocks legal challenges to draft constitution
  • Algeria’s Sonatrach, Italy’s Saipem agree to end disputes – executives
  • Appeal court rules Nigerians cannot pursue Shell spill claim in England
  • Zuma no-confidence motion set for Thursday – South Africa parliament
  • South Africa’s ANC wants budget speech to go ahead as planned next Wednesday
  • Egypt says signs seismic survey deal with Schlumberger
  • South African cement maker PPC appoints permanent CEO
  • Egypt’s GDP growth for Q2 of 2017/18 fiscal year at around 5.3 pct – minister
  • South Africa’s retail sales rise 5.3 percent y/y in December
  • Ivory Coast inflation falls to 0.2 pct year-on-year in Jan
  • South Africa’s ANC will back no-confidence vote in Zuma on Thursday
  • Angola appoints Goldman, Deutsche, ICBC to lead $2 bln Eurobond issue
  • South Africa police minister denies Zuma to be arrested
  • Algeria’s Sonatrach, Italy’s Saipem agree to end disputes – executives
  • Yields on Uganda’s Treasury bills climb at auction
  • Kenya shilling under pressure against the dollar
  • South African police arrest three people in Johannesburg raids
  • Kenya’s economy to expand by 5.8 pct this year – finance ministry
  • Nigerian inflation slowed for 12th month in Jan -stats office
  • Nigerian annual inflation at 15.13 pct in January -stats office
  • South African police target Gupta’s Oakbay holding company – security guard
  • Kenya Treasury says economy to expand by 5.8 pct this year


N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters