#Africa #Markets | 12 Nov

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Sterling tumbles on Brexit turmoil; dollar, oil jump
  • Brexit uncertainty hits pound, euro, buoys dollar
  • MSCI Asia Ex-Japan index down 0.5 pct
  • But European share markets seen opening higher
  • US dollar hits new 16-month high
  • Weak China data, US Fed rate hike expectations weigh
  • Oil prices surge on Saudi production cut plans

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices jump after Saudi Arabia announces December supply cut
  • Saudi Arabia plans December supply cut of 0.5 mln bpd
  • OPEC producers mull supply cuts for 2019
  • OPEC reacts to 20 pct price fall since early October
  • Brent crude oil futures up 2 pct at $71.59 per barrel (0749GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures up 1.6 pct at $61.15 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices hold steady near 1-mth low
  • Spot gold little changed at $1,209.57 per ounce (0121GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.3 pct at $1,211.7 per ounce

Grains

  • Wheat rebounds from 1-week low; lean demand caps gains
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.4 pct at $5.04 per bushel (0144GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.8 pct at $3.69 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.5 pct at $8.86-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures unchanged at $10.62 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa’s state capture inquiry resumes
  • Paris Peace Forum contiunes today; a number of African heads of state in attendance

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

  • South Africa’s Eskom warns of power cuts due to low coal stockpiles
  • Italy’s PM expects Libyan commander Haftar to join Palermo conference
  • South Africa’s rand retreats as dollar surge rattles demand
  • Kenya to sell 20-yr infrastructure bond worth 50 bln shillings in Nov – cenbank
  • South Africa’s Vodacom H1 profit down 13.5 pct
  • Italy hosts Libya conference to push new UN peace plan
  • Congo opposition picks Martin Fayulu as its presidential candidate
  • Egyptian court adds Islamist group to terrorism list
  • Health of Gabon’s hospitalized leader has greatly improved – presidency
  • Tanzania president fires two ministers over cashew nut prices, govt may buy stock
  • Zimbabwe’s unlicensed foreign currency traders face 10-yr jail
  • Egypt’s core inflation accelerates to 8.86 pct y/y in Oct – cbank
  • Egypt’s Banque Misr seeks to borrow $550 mln before end-2018 – vice chairman
  • US concerned by rising attacks on human rights in Tanzania
  • Nigeria names fifth commander in under 2 years to lead fight against Boko Haram
  • Egypt’s headline inflation surges to 17.7 pct in Oct
  • Total plans new offshore Angola well to boost oil output
  • Current ebola outbreak is worst in Congo’s history – ministry
  • IMF sees Namibia’s GDP contracting in 2018
  • Death toll from Somalia hotel attack rises to 39
  • Soccer-Tunisia’s Esperance win African Champions League
  • Libyans want truly national govt, wealth distribution – NGO report
  • Africa Crude – Brisk spot trade on strong diesel margins
  • US appoints Pham as envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region
  • South African central bank fines HSCB for lax money laundering controls
  • South Africa’s struggling state arms firm Denel fires CFO
  • First food aid to reach Cameroon’s Anglophones after months
  • South Africa’s Tongaat swings to HY loss, shares dive
  • Kenya signs agricultural exports deal with China
  • South Africa’s Sasol to reverse provision over tax dispute
  • Kenyan private equity firm raises $155m in second round funding
  • EU observers say Madagascar presidential vote anomalies are marginal
  • South Africa’s Gold Fields reports drop in Q3 output
  • Kenyan shilling weakens against the dollar due to higher demand
  • Nigeria’s Diamond Bank has not received offers of cash from investors
  • Union demands bailout for South Africa defence group Denel
  • South Africa’s Tiger Brands says FY earnings to fall as much as 30 pct
  • Carmakers lure ride-hailer, delivery drivers in Africa
  • US firm to assemble phones in Uganda
  • South Africa’s Discovery to issue 11.4 mln shares to buy out FirstRand JV stake
  • US OPIC signs $100 mln loan deal with Africell
  • Angola’s net reserves fall further in October to $11.6 bln
  • South Africa’s Life Healthcare flags higher profits
  • Ethiopia says mass grave with 200 bodies uncovered in strife-torn region
  • US concerned about ebola outbreak in Congo conflict zone – official

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

#Global #Markets | 12 Nov

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
10:00 Italy Industrial Production MoM 
13:00 India Manufacturing Production YoY 
13:00 India Industrial Production YoY 
13:00 India Inflation Rate YoY 
20:30 US Fed Daly Speech 
01:30 Australia NAB Business Confidence 
08:00 Germany Inflation Rate YoY Final 
08:00 Norway GDP Growth Rate YoY 
08:00 Norway GDP Growth Rate QoQ 
08:00 Norway GDP Growth Mainland QoQ 
09:00 Euro Area ECB Praet Speech 
10:30 UK Average Earnings incl. Bonus 
10:30 UK Unemployment Rate 
10:30 UK Claimant Count Change
NEWS
Philippines September Retail Price Rises the Most in 19 Months 
Singapore Retail Sales Rise for First Time in 3 Months 
Malaysia Retail Sales Rise the Least in 4 Months 
Rwanda Consumer Prices Fall for 2nd Month in October 
Ireland Ulster Bank Construction PMI Falls to 43-Month Low 
US Stocks Close Lower on Friday 
Mozambique Inflation Rate Slows to 4.75% in October 
Ukraine Inflation Rate Rises More Than Expected in October 
US Wholesale Inventories Revised Higher in September 
US Consumer Sentiment Falls Less than Expected 
Mexico Industrial Output Growth at 5-Month High of 1.8% 
US Producer Prices Post Biggest Gain in 6 Years 
Belarus Inflation Rate at 3-Month Low of 4.9% 
Mauritius Holds Interest Rate Steady at 3.5%

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

macroafricaintel | Nigeria: Cautious economic outlook as politics weigh

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

A man walking, albeit all too slowly, and hitherto virtually paralysed, would be greeted with joy by well-meaning friends. As expectations are raised afterwards, a tinge of disappointment welcomes less than expected progress. Surely, he should be able to walk briskly by now, some would wonder aloud. This is perhaps a fitting allegory of the Nigerian economy at the moment. Incidentally, it is also characteristic of its many contradictions. With wealth palpably abundant, from oil and gas to numerous other natural resources of note, most Nigerians are poor. And there is a lot of them that would argue that even when the economy was booming at above 5 percent levels some years back, their lives during today’s supposedly sluggish times are not much different from then. Out of a five-quarter recession since Q2 2017, growth remains sluggish. Most recently, in Q2 2018, real GDP growth was 1.5 percent from almost 2 percent in the first quarter of the year; a slowdown. It was a little heartening, of course, that the main driver of growth in the second quarter was the non-oil sector, which rose by 2 percent year-on-year; thus helping to fill some of the gap that an almost 4 percent contraction in oil sector GDP created. With elections due in a couple of months, and the consequent slowdown that tends to ensue, as investment decisions are delayed or postponed till afterwards, hopes are down on any significant revival. Add to that the recently forced resignation of former finance minister Kemi Adeosun over a certificate forgery scandal in September, and you might be forgiven for being so dour.

Officials would probably take comfort in the fact that the prospects of another recession are relatively slim. South Africa was not so lucky, entering into a recession in Q2 2018. Still, but for unnecessary and avoidable holdups, there certainly should have been more spring in the steps of the Nigerian economy by now. The central government’s 9.1 trillion naira ($29.8 billion) budget, after a half a billion naira increase by legislators, was not passed until May, for instance; well into the year, and about seven months after it was submitted in November for legislative approval by President Muhammadu Buhari. And now, a request for virement of some components of the budget to ensure proper funding of the upcoming elections has become a source of tensions. Why? Mr Buhari proposes that funds hitherto allocated for constitutency projects of federal legislators should instead now be used to fund the polls. And with the president of the Nigerian Senate now aiming to unseat the incumbent at the State House and many of his colleagues looking to become governors or retain their seats, there is little chance of much governance till after the polls. Naturally, the economy would likely be a casaulty. In July, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) put it succinctly: “Under current policies, the outlook remains challenging…[Thus] a coherent set of policies to reduce vulnerabilities and increase growth remains urgent.” But how likely are the chances of that with the 2019 polls top-of-mind of policymakers? African Business asks two leading Africa economists for their views.

Better growth on reforms
Gaimin Nonyane, head of economic research at Ecobank, a pan-African bank, in London says “the outlook is for a stronger recovery despite the recent slowdown seen in Q2 2018.” But if that is the case, why is the economy still sluggish? “The slowdown in Q2 real GDP growth was owing mainly to challenges in two key pipelines (Trans-forcados and Nembe Creek) in May 2018, security challenges in major agricultural belts in North-East and North-Central regions, slower-than-expected recovery of the trade sector and administrative inertia in implementing structural reforms,” says Ecobank’s Nonyane. “With efforts to resolve the technical difficulties in the pipelines underway, we expect the oil sector to move back into positive territory in the coming quarters (barring any major disruptions to foreign oil installations), while the non-oil sector will continue to drive growth driven by strengthening activity in the utilities, construction, ICT and transport sectors,” she adds. The authorities’ ambitious spending plans also underpins relative optimism about growth. Real GDP growth should be closer to 3 percent in 2019, according to Ecobank; from about 2 percent estimated by the IMF for 2018. This is below potential, for sure. Thus, if growth is to be restored to pre-crisis levels of 5-6 percent, reforms would have to be deepened, Ms Nonyane avers. The probability of major policy actions in this regard during an election season already in high gear is quite slim, however.

Cautious markets due to political uncertainty
Investors are understandably taking precautions. Ecobank’s Nonyane shares insights from her observations of the markets and note-sharing with clients: “From a financial market perspective, we have certainly seen investors being a lot more conservative with risk taking on NGN assets over the past six months on the back of the rising political risk. Andrew Nevin, chief economist at PwC, a consultancy, in Lagos agrees: “Investors are obviously slowing down as we head into a complex election season. Outsiders certainly cannot be expected to understand all the players and issues and this election is highly uncertain. In this environment, they will prefer to wait. In addition, high profile incidents that put regulators and major players in conflict will also cause investors to be cautious.” There is already evidence of this. “The Nigerian equity market is currently amongst the worst performing in the world in local currency terms, indicating that beyond the EM/FM risk aversion, there is an element of political risk in the pricing of Nigerian equities, says Ecobank’s Nonyane. “Furthermore, portfolio inflows via the IE Window dropped to a one year low in August (USD546m), just a third of the monthly average over Q1 2018 (USD1.6bn), [with] FDI inflow [falling] to a 13-month low in July (USD11.4m) and [setting] a new record low in August (USD8.7m),” Nonyane adds. Ecobank’s head of economic reseach believes “investors are also cautious, partly due to…[the] absence of policy reforms, which has subdued the outlook for growth.”

An edited version was published by New African magazine in October 2018

#Africa #Markets | 9 Nov

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia stocks retreat from 1-mth high as Fed tempers rally
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific index loses 1.3 pct, Nikkei sheds 1.05 pct
  • Fed stands pat but still on track to gradually hike rates
  • Dollar supported with short-term US yields at decade highs
  • Prospect of swelling global supply keeps crude near 8-mth lows

Oil Markets

  • Oil in bear market as supply rises, demand outlook weakens
  • Oil prices hit 4-yr highs in early October
  • Crude has since slumped as supply rises, demand slows
  • Iran sanctions impact dampened by broad exemptions
  • Asia gasoline margins turn negative
  • Brent crude oil futures up 19 cents at $70.84 a barrel (0629GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures up 6 cents at $65.73 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold edges down as Fed’s interest rate view strengthens dollar
  • Spot gold down 0.1 pct at $1,221.78 per ounce (0124GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2 pct at $1,223 per ounce

Grains

  • Corn edges lower, set to finish week in positive terrain
  • Most active CBOT corn futures up about 0.5 pct for the week
  • Most active soybean futures down 1 pct for the week
  • Most active wheat futures down nearly 0.5 pct for the week

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

  • Final day of #Africa #Investment Forum by #AfDB in Johannesburg today; 7-9 Nov
  • Final day of #Africa #oil week in Cape Town today; 5-9 Nov

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

  • South Africa’s Gold Fields third-quarter production falls 3 pct
  • FOCUS-Carmakers lure ride-hailer, delivery drivers in Africa
  • South Africa’s Life Healthcare flags higher profits
  • Ethiopia says mass grave with 200 bodies uncovered in strife-torn region
  • US concerned about ebola outbreak in Congo conflict zone – official
  • Libyans want truly national govt, wealth distribution – NGO study
  • Libya should start process for elections in spring – UN envoy
  • 400 buffalo drown after stampede into river between Botswana and Namibia
  • Cameroon child kidnappers warned victims not to go to school
  • Morocco’s Attijariwafa bank to eye new Africa acquisitions from late 2019
  • South Africa’s Discovery to raise $132 mln in new share issue
  • Morocco to sell La Mamounia hotel, power plant to cut 2019 budget deficit
  • African islands call for help as climate change worsens health
  • Scientists angry at UK visa denials for African, Asian researchers
  • Dangote Cement approached about Kenya’s ARM Cement – source
  • Africa Crude – Sellers face off against high freight and excess oil
  • South Africa’s rand falls on subdued risk sentiment; stocks down
  • Nigeria plans London roadshow ahead of $2.8 bln eurobond sale – sources
  • In week ahead, traders expect Kenyan shilling, Ghana’s cedi to come under pressure
  • Ex-leader leads preliminary results in Madagascar presidential poll
  • Tunisia trade deficit widens to record $5.5 bln
  • Tanzania frees two members of CPJ journalists’ advocacy group
  • Algeria’s Sonatrach appeals to Sufi preachers to give gas plans a lift
  • Kenya lawmaker targets foreign firms, decries China “invasion”
  • Tunisia president accepts new ministers, easing high-level standoff
  • Nigerian central bank to meet MTN lenders over $8 bln fund transfer – source
  • Mozambique says eurobond restructuring a relief for its budget
  • Zambia sees fiscal deficit at 7 pct of GDP in 2018 – finmin
  • South Africa retailer TFG reports 8.3 pct rise in H1 earnings
  • Mozambique’s eurobond restructuring plan has good terms – finmin
  • Zimbabwe sees 2019 budget deficit at 4 pct of GDP
  • South Africa’s manufacturing output up 0.1 pct
  • Kenya shilling steady, remittances meet importer demand
  • South Africa’s Standard Bank to launch secondary listing on A2X bourse
  • Zimbabwe’s Econet to list banking, mobile money unit seperately
  • Uganda expects first oil production in 2021, refinery by 2023
  • South African anti-graft watchdog investigating Ramaphosa ally Gordhan
  • IMF says has good relations with Mozambique
  • Sudan and US to hold further talks on removing Khartoum from terrorism sponsor list

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

#Global #Markets | 9 Nov

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
08:45 France Industrial Production MoM 
10:30 UK GDP Growth Rate YoY Prel 
10:30 UK GDP Growth Rate QoQ Prel 
10:30 UK Construction Output YoY 
10:30 UK Industrial Production YoY 
10:30 UK Industrial Production MoM 
10:30 UK Manufacturing Production MoM 
10:30 UK Manufacturing Production YoY 
10:30 UK Balance of Trade 
10:30 UK Business Investment YoY Prel 
10:30 UK Business Investment QoQ Prel 
10:30 UK GDP MoM 
10:30 UK GDP 3-Month Avg 
11:15 Germany Bundesbank Balz Speech
NEWS
Estonian Trade Gap Widens in September 
Dutch September Industrial Output Growth Eases to 2.9% 
Malaysia Industrial Output Rises More than Expected 
Malaysia Jobless Rate Edges Down to 3.3% in September 
Malaysia Q3 Construction Output Growth Slows 
China Producer Prices Rise the Least in 7 Months 
Fed Holds Rates as Expected, Signals December Hike 
German Stocks Fall 
Ecuador Inflation Rate Rises to 0.33% in October 
Mexico Inflation Rate Ticks Down to 4.9% in October 
Canada New Home Prices Unchanged for 2nd Month 
US Jobless Claims Drop to 214K in Latest Week 
Canada Housing Starts Highest in 4 Months 
Latvia Inflation Rate Steady at 18-Month High

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

#Africa #Markets | 8 Nov

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia cheered by post-election Wall St rally, dollar bounces
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 0.75 pct, Nikkei climbs 1.9 pct
  • Dollar off lows as US yields rise amid improved risk appetite
  • US crude struggles near 8-mth lows

Oil Markets

  • Oil dips as soaring US production outweighs talk of OPEC output cuts
  • OPEC-led production cuts next year cannot be ruled out – sources
  • US crude output tripled since 2008
  • US crude output to break through 12 mln bpd by mid-2019 – EIA
  • Broad Iran sanctions waivers have prevented price spike
  • Brent crude futures down 14 cents at $71.93 a barrel (0301GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures largely unchanged at $61.68 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices hold steady, eyes on Fed meeting
  • Spot gold flat at $1,225.61 per ounce (0115GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2 pct at $1,226.6 per ounce

Grains

  • Soybean prices edge down as market waits for US govt forecasts
  • Most active CBOT soybean futures down 0.2 pct at $8.77-3/4 per bushel (0245GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.2 pct at $3.71-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active wheat futures down 0.5 pct at $5.07-3/4 per bushel

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

  • #Africa #Investment Forum by #AfDB continues in Johannesburg today; 7-9 Nov
  • #PrinceCharles & wife state visit to #Nigeria (day 3)
  • #Africa #oil week in Cape Town continues; 5-9 Nov
  • South Africa manufacturing production data for Sep-18 due [fcst. 1.7% yy, prev. 1.3%]
  • South Africa mining production data for Sep-18 expected [fcst. -3.2% yy, prev. -9.1%]

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

  • Palestinians say Egyptian fire kills Gaza fisherman; Cairo denies
  • Malawi’s Mutharika dumps vice pres Chilima ahead of 2019 elections
  • At least 47 dead as two buses collide in Zimbabwe – ZBC
  • Libya commander Haftar visits Russia ahead of conference
  • Ex-Somali refugee’s US Congress win sparks debate in former home Kenya
  • Africa Crude – Surplus cargoes drag on spot trade and diffs
  • Egypt’s economy grew about 5.3 pct y/y in Q1 of fiscal 2018-19 – planning minister
  • Sisi’s hot potato: Egyptians hit back after remarks on austerity
  • AfDB nears approval of $600 mln loan package for Ghana’s Cocobod
  • South Africa’s financial stability threatened by MTN’s $10 billion Nigeria bill – cenbank
  • Nigeria to get first new listing in 4 years ending IPO drought
  • Vote count begins as Madagascar chooses president
  • Nigerian Shiite leader denied bail after supporters killed during protest
  • Major South African union opposes state arms firm stake sale
  • FGM rates drop for African girls but teens still at risk
  • South Africa likely to hold elections in May next year
  • Libya Coast Guard picks up 315 migrants attempting sea crossing
  • France and Comoros agree to end migration row
  • South Africa’s Vodacom and Telkom agree to share networks
  • Burundi to set up capital market for firms next year
  • South Africa’s Eskom plans executive layoffs to cut costs
  • Lenders to Mozambique want similar restructuring deal to bondholders – spokesman
  • Gabon to scrap corporate tax, launches offshore oil exploration round
  • Ghana approves state oil company as partner in Exxon deepwater field
  • Ugandan shilling steady, to ease due to uptick in importer demand
  • South African business confidence index rises in October
  • Kenyan shilling steady as remittance flows meet thin importer demand
  • Algerian firm Cevital to invest and create 1,000 jobs at PSA French site
  • All 78 child hostages released in Cameroon, two teachers held
  • Feature – Kenyan farmers try to sweep away landslide risks with bamboo
  • South Africa’s net foreign reserves slip to $42.194 bln in October
  • After years in exile, an Ethiopian politician returns home with hope and fear

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

#Global #Markets | 8 Nov

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
06:00 Japan Eco Watchers Survey Outlook 
07:45 Switzerland Unemployment Rate 
08:00 Germany Balance of Trade 
08:00 Malaysia Interest Rate Decision
08:45 France Balance of Trade 
10:00 Euro Area ECB Economic Bulletin 
11:00 Euro Area European Commission Forecasts 
12:00 Ireland Inflation Rate YoY 
14:00 Russia Foreign Exchange Reserves 
14:15 Canada Housing Starts 
14:30 Canada New Housing Price Index MoM 
14:30 Canada New Housing Price Index YoY 
15:00 Mexico Inflation Rate YoY 
15:15 Euro Area ECB Cœuré Speech 
NEWS
China October Trade Surplus Smaller than Expected 
China Import Growth Accelerates Sharply in October 
Philippines Economy Expands 1.4% QoQ in Q3 
Philippines Q3 GDP Growth Weakest in Over 3 Years 
Japan Machinery Orders Plummet in September 
Japan Current Account Narrows in September 
US Stocks Surge on Midterm Election Outcome 
New Zealand Holds Interest Rate at 1.75% 
US Consumer Credit Climbs Below Expectations 
European Stocks End Higher on Relief Over US Midterms 
Costa Rica Inflation Rate Lowest in More than a Year 
Poland Holds Interest Rate Steady at 1.5% 
US Crude Oil Inventories Rise More than Expected 
Canada October Ivey PMI Beats Forecasts

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research