#Africa #Markets | 22 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares, US stock futures dented by growth worries
  • MSCI Asia ex-Japan down 0.5 pct, Nikkei flat
  • US stock futures in negative territory
  • IMF downgrades world growth forecasts again
  • US China trade ties, Brexit key risks for world economy

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices edge down as global growth worries threaten demand
  • Brent crude futures down 0.2 pct at $62.64 per barrel (0106GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures down 0.1 pct at $53.70 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold steady on global growth concerns, but firm dollar dents appeal
  • Spot gold mostly unchanged at $1,279.61 per ounce (0050GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.3 pct at $1,278.90 per ounce

Grains

  • Soybeans rise for four straight session on trade optimism
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.2 pct at $5.19 per bushel (0133GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.1 pct at $3.81-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up by about 0.3 pct at $9.19 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.4 pct at $10.58 per hundredweight

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

  • Nigeria central bank to decide on interest rates [fcst. 14.0%, prev. 14.0%]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry to continue
  • South Africa inquiry into state pension manager to continue
  • Nigeria’s chief justice Onnoghen may be arraigned at code of conduct tirbunal today [Focus to be on whether authorities would obey court order not to]
  • Nigeria’s presidential candidates on the campaign trail

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

  • Barrick explores options for Zambia copper mine under pressure from taxes
  • Hundreds protest demonstrator’s death in Sudan – witnesses
  • Sudan’s Bashir to visit Qatar amid ongoing unrest at home
  • Nigeria opposition candidate plans central bank overhaul – spokesman
  • Kenya stops another suspected al Shabaab attack – police
  • South Africa’s Multichoice sweetens Naspers split with dividend plan
  • France summons Italy envoy after Di Maio’s comments on Africa
  • Sudan freezes credentials of two journalists covering protests
  • Zimbabwe court says internet shutdown illegal as more civilians detained
  • Italy’s Di Maio repeats attack on French policies in Africa
  • Zimbabwe’s Econet Wireless says restores all internet and social media services
  • Africa Crude – Nigerian diffs stay at 10-mth highs, buyers wary
  • Nigeria’s ruling party accuses opposition of plotting pre-vote violence
  • South Africa’s Multichoice plans inaugural dividend of $181 mln
  • Total to go ahead with Ikike oil project in Nigeria
  • South African rand retreats, Naspers lifts stocks
  • Uganda plans restrictions on artists
  • Madagascar retains Christian Ntsay as its prime minister – official
  • South Africa’s Naspers given green light to list pay-TV business
  • African leaders back Congo president-elect after contested poll
  • Fourteen miners killed in Rwanda tin mine after hill collapses due to heavy rain
  • Zuma to record anti-apartheid songs for history project
  • South Sudan starts pumping extra 15,000 bpd of crude oil from Unity fields
  • Zimbabwe court rules minister had no authority to order internet shutdown
  • Burkina Faso president Kabore names former health minister as PM
  • Nigeria commodities king Dangote targets foreign markets in sales push
  • South Africa’s Shoprite to appeal $1.4 mln competition fine
  • Egypt sends RFP to banks for international bond issue
  • Zimbabwe crackdown challenged in court, opposition leaders in hiding
  • Uganda shilling firms as charity, commodity inflows help
  • Kenya lawmaker proposes raising cap on commercial lending rates
  • Kenya shilling firms amid remittance inflows
  • After Westgate debacle, quick end to latest Kenyan attack shows progress
  • South Africa turned down Zimbabwe request for $1.2 bln loan in December

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

#Global #Markets | 22 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
06:30 Netherlands Consumer Confidence 
09:00 Taiwan Unemployment Rate 
09:00 Switzerland World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 
10:00 Spain Balance of Trade 
10:30 UK Average Earnings excl. Bonus 
10:30 UK Average Earnings incl. Bonus 
10:30 UK Claimant Count Change 
10:30 UK Unemployment Rate 
10:30 UK Employment Change 
11:00 Germany ZEW Current Conditions 
11:00 Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment Index 
11:00 Euro Area ZEW Economic Sentiment Index
NEWS
Lebanon Inflation Rate at 17-Month Low of 3.98% 
Moody’s Downgrades Lebanon’s Credit Rating to ‘Caa1’ 
South Korea GDP Grows 1% QoQ and Beats Expectations 
South Korea Annual GDP Growth at 5-Quarter High 
New Zealand Services PMI Dips to 6-Month Low 
Paraguay Holds Interest Rate at 5.25% 
UK Stocks Unchanged on No Brexit News 
Sterling Edges Higher to $1.29 
Slovenia Jobless Rate Falls to 7.9% in November 
Belgium Consumer Morale Lowest in Over 2 Years 
Senegal Industrial Output Growth at 4-Month High of 4.9% 
Portugal Current Account Balance Swings to Deficit

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

#Africa #Markets | 21 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia stocks calm as China slows, awaits Brexit news
  • Asia shares ex-Japan up 0.4 pct, China blue chips advance
  • S&P futures little changed with US on holiday
  • China GDP slows to 6.4 pct in Q4, industrial output beats
  • Market awaits Plan B on Brexit from British PM May

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises to 2019 highs on strong China demand despite economic slowdown
  • China’s 2018 crude runs hit record 12.12 mln bpd
  • Strong demand despite GDP growth at 28-yr low
  • OPEC-led supply cuts also support crude prices
  • US rig count slows, output rises
  • Brent crude futures up 0.4 pct at $62.94 per barrel (0404GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures up 0.5 pct at $54.05 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices inch up on Fed rate pause hopes
  • Spot gold up 0.2 pct at $1,282.71 per ounce (0103GMT)
  • US gold futures steady at $1,282.50 per ounce

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

  • South Africa’s state capture inquiry continues
  • Nigeria’s presidential candidates on the campaign trail

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

  • Al Qaeda-linked grou claims responsibility for attack on UN peacekeepers in Mali
  • Gap between rich and poor growing, fuelling global anger – Oxfam
  • Congo political crisis deepens as top court rejects vote challenge
  • Zimbabwe crackdown a taste of things to come, president’s spokesman warns
  • African Union postpones Congo talks on contested election
  • Israel and Chad revive diplomatic relations, call for closer security ties
  • After Westgate debacle, quick end to latest Kenyan attack shows progress
  • Sudan unrest enters second month with protests in Omdurman
  • Egypt H1 of year to June budget deficit 3.6 pct of GDP – presidency
  • Congo opposition candidate Fayulu declares himself president
  • Congo top court declares Felix Tshisekedi winner of presidential poll
  • News photographer killed in Tripoli clashes
  • US says its air strike kills 52 militants who attacked Somali base
  • Tunisian union calls new nationwide strike to press wage demands
  • Zimbabwe public workers reject latest wage offer after protests
  • Kenyan authorities investigate local role in Nairobi attack
  • Burkina Faso cabinet resigns – TV statement
  • Hundreds detained after Zimbabwe protests as UN denounces crackdown
  • Nigeria’s NNPC paid $993.7 mln cash call arrears by September
  • Tens of thousands cut off from aid in northeast Nigeria after attack
  • Africa Crude – Sonangol said to award term cargoes, Nigerian firm
  • South African rand weaker on less hawkish c.bank stance
  • Zimbabwe court rules pastor Mawarire to stand trial for subverting govt
  • Zimbabwe’s Econet says received govt order to open up internet access
  • Jailed ex-Mozambique finmin drops South Africa bail plan
  • Eastern Libyan force says it killed senior al Qaeda operative
  • As prices soar, Zimbabweans haunted by memories of hyperinflation
  • Drought, animal disease threaten South African farmers
  • Tunisia to almost double gas production this year
  • Saudi Arabia plans oil refinery, petchem plant in South Africa
  • ICC delays release of Ivory Coast ex-leader Gbagbo despite acquittal
  • SocGen and Absa join forces on wholesale banking in Africa
  • Mali’s gold production up 23 pct in 2018
  • China Moly to increase stake in Congo’s Tenke copper mine to 80 pct
  • Algeria sets April election, no word on Bouteflika candidacy
  • Congo rejects AU demand to delay final election result
  • UN calls on Zimbabwe to halt crackdown, firing on protesters
  • Dozens killed, wounded in wake of Congo election results – UN
  • Uganda shilling unchanged as importer demand slows
  • Kenya police detain 9 in connection with deadly hotel attack
  • South Africa’s Aveng sells water treatment engineering business

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

#Global #Markets | 21 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
08:00 Germany PPI MoM 
09:00 Euro Area Eurogroup Meeting 
12:00 Germany Bundesbank Monthly Report 
00:00 South Korea GDP Growth Rate QoQ Adv 
00:00 South Korea GDP Growth Rate YoY Adv 
06:30 Netherlands Consumer Confidence 
09:00 Taiwan Unemployment Rate 
09:00 Switzerland World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 
10:00 Spain Balance of Trade 
10:30 UK Average Earnings excl. Bonus 
10:30 UK Average Earnings incl. Bonus 
10:30 UK Claimant Count Change
NEWS
Thailand Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in December 
China Retail Sales Growth Accelerated Slightly in December 
China Industrial Output Beats Estimates in December 
China Q4 Capacity Utilization Rate Falls to Near 2-Year Low 
China Fixed Asset Investment Growth Below Expectations 
China Quarterly GDP Growth Weakest in 3 Quarters 
Australia New Home Sales Fall the Most in 6 Years 
Week Ahead 
US Stocks Extend Gains on Friday 
European Shares Rally on Trade Optimism 
Oil Prices Rally 
Colombia Retail Sales Rise the Most since 2014

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

macroafricaintel | Nigeria – Deal with Onnoghen matter after the polls

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

In January, Walter Onnoghen, Nigeria’s chief justice, was served with charges for failing to declare certain domestic foreign currency accounts. Ordinarily, such matters would be handled by the National Judicial Council, the watchdog for judges, before further steps are taken, if at all. At least, so it was thought. Arguments have been raised since then suggesting that may not necessarily be the case when the allegations are criminal or in the judge’s personal capacity. In any case, that is a matter for the legal system to resolve.

Considering how crucial the upcoming elections are, and the important role the judiciary would likely play in them, many wonder if the beleaguered judge is not being hounded out of office to make way for someone more acceptable to the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Like the president, the next in line to the embattled chief justice is a Northern Muslim. Mr Onnoghen is a Christian southerner.

There is precedence for these concerns. The chiefs of the army, airforce, intelligence, police, customs, immigration, electoral commission, to mention a few, are Northern Muslims.

President Buhari was not quick to appoint Mr Onnoghen to the top of the judicial profession. He did so only after tremendous pressure. Recent events suggest the matter was likely never put to rest. That is even as Mr Buhari was reportedly caught unawares by the development.

To be clear, no one is above the law. The chief justice can be petitioned, charged and prosecuted. And there is an abundance of laws and process to ensure he faces the music should he be found culpable. But a development that could potentially lead to the resignation of the chief justice or his removal just a month to the polls is very suspicious indeed.

Still, it must be borne in mind that senior judges have been prosecuted in other jurisdictions. A more recent and perhaps most relevant example is the case of Philomena Mwilu, the deputy chief justice of Kenya, who is currently under prosecution for corruption. In her case, she appeared in court as scheduled in the full glare of cameras before later securing reprieve over the jurisdiction of the lower court which docked her.

Thus, there is nothing wrong with the chief justice appearing before the Code of Conduct Tribunal or any other legal venue. For the avoidance of doubt, the complications in respect of this matter relate to the timing and due-process of the law.

It is hard to justify any benefit to the polity from clearly attempting to remove the most senior judicial officer in the land, who would be a key adjudicator in election disputes, just a month to the polls. In fact, the action has the potential of heightening regional tensions.

Incidentally, the president might have been done a great disservice. The outcry by the main opposition party that he desires a dictatorship and a return of northern hegemony has been given greater credence by this recent event.

Now that the legal due-process has been put back on track, the advocacy now is that whatever action is to be taken be deferred till after the polls.

#Africa #Markets | 18 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia stocks advance on US-China trade relief
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 0.7 pct, Nikkei hits 1-mth high
  • Hopes for thaw in US-China trade row lift equities
  • Dollar supported, US yields higher amid better risk appetite
  • Palladium hovers near record high

Oil Markets

  • Oil up on OPEC output cuts, hopes of easing US-China trade tensions
  • OPEC says its Dec output fell by 751k bpd to 31.58 mln bpd
  • Washington considers rolling back China import tariffs – WSJ
  • But record US production of 11.9 mln bpd undermines OPEC efforts
  • Brent up 0.9 pct at $61.72 per barrel (0339GMT)
  • US WTI up 1.1 pct at $52.62 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Palladium holds near record levels on supply woes; gold steady
  • Spot palladium up 0.3 pct at $1,400.50 per ounce (0116GMT)
  • Spot gold steady at $1,291.43 per ounce
  • US gold futures down 0.1 pct at $1,291.10 per ounce

Grains

  • Soybeans edge higher on US-China trade optimism
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures down 0.3 pct at $5.16 per bushel (0115GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.4 pct at $3.78-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.2 pct at $9.06-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures unchanged at $10.50 per hundredweight

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

  • Nigeria’s Buhari campaigns in Kaduna today; all eyes on him in regard of whether he will show up for debate tomorrow
  • Nigeria’s Abubakar in US for events & meetings
  • Nigeria’s Abubakar campaign organisation to be inaugurated today

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

  • Sudan protesters, police clash as anti-Bashir unrest spreads
  • Sudan inflation quickens to 72.9 pct in Dec – state news agency
  • AU cites ‘serious doubts’, urges delay to final Congo election result
  • Death toll in militia clashes in Libya’s capital rises to 10
  • Morocco foils 89,000 illegal migration attempts in 2018 – interior ministry
  • Ethiopia allows almost 1 million refugees to leave camps and work
  • Mum on trial for FGM ‘used witchcraft’ to silence UK police
  • Trump cancels Pelosi trip to Belgium, Afghanistan and Egypt
  • Canadian found dead in Burkina Faso after kidnapping
  • Zimbabwe charges activist pastor with subversion and incitement
  • African growth too slow for expanding workforce – AfDB
  • Britain “deeply concerned” at Zimbabwe unrest; summons ambassador
  • Gunmen kill Ghanaian journalist who helped expose soccer graft
  • Boko Haram claims attack on northeast Nigerian town of Rann – video
  • Africa Crude – Nigerian Bonny and Qua Iboe offered at 10-mth highs
  • More women catch ebola in Congo in ‘unexpected’ twist of gender roles
  • South African rand falls after rate decision; stocks down
  • Nigeria’s Forte Oil seeks to sell power unit to top investor
  • South Africa’s central bank defends mandate, holds rate
  • Gabon president back in Morocco after short stay in Libreville
  • African bloc walks back calls for Congo election recount
  • Investec, UK Climate Investments commit 1 bln rand to Africa renewables
  • Big strike paralyses Tunisia, thousands protest over pay row
  • South Africa’s central bank leaves repo rate at 6.75 pct
  • Egypt renews detention of woman in BBC report over ‘false news’
  • Egypt reopens five ports after weather improves
  • Kenya’s Safaricom overdraft service exceeds expectations – CEO
  • Kenyan shilling firms against the dollar
  • Egypt resumes air freight service to US after 2015 halt
  • Zimbabwe’s inflation soars to 42 pct y/y in Dec
  • Ugandan shilling slightly weaker on pick-up in interbank demand
  • Zimbabwe doctors treat 68 for gunshot wounds, police arrests hundreds
  • South Africa’s Mr Price posts slow Q3 sales growth on lower clothes, Black Friday sales
  • South Africa’s Woolworths posted tepid 26-wk sales

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