#Global #Markets | 26 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Time Data/Event Previous Consensus
0130GMT Australia Export Prices QoQ Q1 2.8% 4.1%
0130GMT Australia Import Prices QoQ Q1 2.0% 1.3%
0600GMT Germany GfK Consumer Confidence MAY 10.9 10.8
0830GMT UK Finance Mortgage Approvals MAR 38.1K 37.1K
0930GMT South Africa PPI YoY MAR 4.2% 4.1%
0930GMT South Africa PPI MoM MAR -0.3% 0.3%
1000GMT UK CBI Distributive Trades APR -8 5
1145GMT Euro Area Deposit Facility Rate -0.4% -0.4%
1145GMT ECB Interest Rate Decision 0.0% 0.0%
1230GMT ECB Press Conference
1230GMT US Goods Trade Balance Adv MAR $-75.35B $-74.8B
1230GMT US Wholesale Inventories MoM Adv MAR 1.0% 0.6%
1230GMT US Durable Goods Orders MoM MAR 3.1% 1.6%
1230GMT US Continuing Jobless Claims 14/APR 1863K 1850K
1230GMT US Initial Jobless Claims 21/APR 232K 230K
1430GMT US EIA Natural Gas Stocks Change 20/APR -36Bcf -12Bcf
1500GMT US Kansas Fed Manufacturing Index APR 20 17
1700GMT US 7-Year Note Auction 2.72%
2301GMT UK Gfk Consumer Confidence APR -7 -7
2330GMT Japan Jobs/applications ratio MAR 1.58 1.59
2330GMT Japan Unemployment Rate MAR 2.5% 2.5%
2350GMT Japan Retail Sales YoY MAR 1.6% 1.7%
2350GMT Japan Retail Sales MoM MAR 0.4% 0.0%
2350GMT Japan Industrial Production MoM Prel MAR 0.0% 0.5%
2350GMT Japan Industrial Production YoY Prel MAR 1.6% 2.0%

#Africa #Markets | 25 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares spooked by rising US yields, cost worries
  • Ex-Japan Asia down 0.1 pct , Nikkei falls 0.6 pct
  • Caterpillar earnings highlight concerns about economic peak
  • US bond yields rise at 3 pct, Jan 2014 high in focus

Oil Markets

  • Oil falls away from late-2014 highs as rising US supplies cloud bull-run
  • Oil prices in April hit highest level since Q4 2014
  • Brent forward prices are above $70/bbl until end of 2018
  • OPEC-led cuts, political risk, strong demand have lifted oil
  • But rising US supplies dragging on markets
  • Brent crude oil futures down 12 cents to $73.74 per barrel (0238GMT)
  • US WTI futures down 7 cents at $67.63 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices inch up as equities slide
  • Spot gold up 0.1 pct at $1,330.96 per ounce (0058GMT)
  • US gold futures steady at $1,332.60 per ounce

Grains

  • Wheat up for 2nd day; soybean, corn prices face pressure from US weather
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.2 pct at $4.85-1/4 per bushel (0045GMT)
  • Most active corn futures unchanged at $3.90 per bushel
  • Most active soybean futures up 0.1 pct at $10.35 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.3 pct at $13.09 per hundredweight

Soft commodities (24 Apr)

  • New York cocoa surges, sugar falls to multi-year lows
  • July New York cocoa settled up 3.3 pct at $2,815 per tonne
  • July London cocoa settled up 1.9 pct at £1,863 per tonne
  • July raw sugar settled down 0.2 pct at 11.38 cents per lb
  • August white sugar settled down 1.4 pct at $324.50 per tonne
  • July arabica coffee settled up 1.3 pct at $1.2045 per lb
  • July robusta coffee settled up 0.7 pct at $1,782 per tonne

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

  • Nigeria’s ruling APC party begins sale of forms to contestants for the party’s executive positions (at its convention to be held on 14 May) today
  • Kenya’s 5th annual devolution conference continues today (23-27 Apr)
  • The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) to embark on a general strike today over proposed national miniumum wage of R11-R20 an hour and changes to labour laws [SAFTU prefers a so-called living wage of R12,500]

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

  • Sixteen people killed in Nigerian church attack – police
  • Algeria says oil price of $75 a barrel will allow for investment
  • Egypt’s former anti-graft chief jailed for 5 years by military court – lawyer
  • Congo presidential hopeful rejects any deal with Kabila
  • Fuel shortage hits Sudan as dollar crisis hampers imports
  • Three Chinese tourists killed in traffic accident in Egypt – statement
  • Israel abandons plan to forcibly deport African migrants
  • French police grill tycoon Bollore after Africa graft allegations
  • Namibia may scrap black ownership requirements for mining companies – minister
  • Heavy rains, landslides kill 18 in Rwanda – govt
  • Papua New Guinea PM says country to launch first eurobond
  • Mauritius bank SBM to put $60 mln of extra capital into Kenya’s Chase
  • Ivory Coast bank assets up 11 pct in 2017 on solid economic growth
  • South Africa’s Libstar targets at least $692 mln valuation in IPO
  • Moroccan phosphate producer eyes bonds issue
  • Congo’s state miner seeks to dissolve Glencore venture over debts
  • South African Airways says it needs capital injection “now”
  • European nations urged to stop Libya’s trafficking gangs
  • Zimbabwe may launch $3.5 billion sovereign bond issue post election –deputy minister
  • Guinea says Bollore port concession complied with law
  • South African Airways in talks with banks, Treasury for “open credit line”
  • Ethiopia not ready for foreign investment in telecoms, banking – president
  • Wealtherly updates on agreement to purchase Kitumba project in Zambia
  • South Africa’s mines minister to challenge court ruling on black ownership theshold
  • Ugandan shilling unchanged as charity flows meet subdued demand
  • Algeria launches gas pipeline to boost supply to major southern city
  • Ethiopia says British museum must permanently return its artefacts
  • Congo’s Gecamines says debts require dissolution of Glencore venture
  • Yields mixed at weekly South Africa bond auction
  • Tanzania sets 2-week deadline for bloggers amid internet crackdown

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

#Global #Markets | 25 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Time Data/Event Previous Consensus
0430GMT Japan All Industry Activity Index MoM FEB -1.8% 0.4%
1100GMT MBA Mortgage Applications 20/APR 4.9%
1100GMT US MBA 30-Year Mortgage Rate 20/APR 4.7%
1430GMT US EIA Crude Oil Stocks Change 20/APR -1.071M -2.043M
1430GMT US EIA Gasoline Stocks Change 20/APR -2.968M -0.625M
1700GMT US 5-Year Note Auction 2.6%
2350GMT Japan Stock Investment by Foreigners 21/APR ¥308.3B
2350GMT Japan Foreign Bond Investment 21/APR ¥797.6B

macroafricaintel | Smart Lagos: Status, Prospects & Opportunities (1)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Introduction
Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, is a source of mixed emotions for its more than 20 million inhabitants.[1] Many come to the city from the hinterland to pursue their dreams. Some succeed, some do not. But all suffer one grief or another from the city’s punishing traffic jams, noise pollution from ubiquitous standby-generators, and so on. Despite its shortcomings, Lagos is a city of great potential. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of about US$136 billion in 2017, the city is already acclaimed to have the 7th largest GDP in Africa.[2],[3] (The state government believes it is the 5th largest in Africa and aspires to become the third largest by 2020, three years from now.[4])


Figure 1: Smart Lagos as an ecosystem
Source: Author’s research

Additionally, the Lagos economy is estimated to constitute about a third of Nigeria’s output and certainly earns the highest annual tax revenue of all 36 federal states and the federal capital territory; which is in excess of US$1 billion.[5] Lagos leads Nigeria on a number of other metrics. It has the highest literacy rate among 15-25 year olds.[6] It has the homes with the most mobile phones in Nigeria.[7] More homes have a car or a truck in Lagos than anywhere else in Nigeria.[8] By 2023, Lagos could have uninterrupted power supply if current efforts by the state government continue and are successful.[9] State governor Akinwumi Ambode has staked his reputation on bringing this about. Private sector actors are being encouraged via a myriad of incentives to establish small power plants that need not plug into the national grid. This is no doubt helped by recent moves by the federal government to waive this necessity, particularly that of licensing to generate electricity. An individual or corporate body generating no more than 1 megawatt (1MW) of electricity does not need to get a license.[10] Judging from these attributes, it is not an exaggeration at all to suppose the ambition of the government to make Lagos a smart city, is one that can be realised.

Organic tech
The technology sector in Lagos is perhaps the one area where the city’s potential is writ large. With little or no government support, savvy entrepreneurs built the so-called “Computer Village” in the Ikeja capital district of Lagos, where there is hardly an information and communication technology (ICT) hardware that cannot be found. [11] Today, Computer Village is adjudged the largest ICT accessory market in Africa.[12] A planned relocation to a dedicated ICT park by the government has not been well-received.[13]

But the city is also building capacity in software; organically at that. Lagos-based Andela trains programmers and facilitates their placement with software companies around the world. Such is Andela’s stellar reputation for excellence that American TV network CNN in June 2015 called it “the startup that’s harder to get into than Harvard.[14] There is also a budding tech entrepreneurship boom in what is called the “Yabacon Valley” in a district of Lagos called Yaba, where techies have been aggregating to create innovative solutions; currently mostly in e-commerce and payment systems.[15] Global tech executives got wind of these developments and started paying visits. Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, stopped by in August 2016.[16] So did Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichal in July 2017.[17] But it was Microsoft that blazed the trail, with its chief operating officer Kevin Turner visiting Lagos in November 2010.[18]

Now the Lagos State government takes the sector very seriously; albeit in some cases (like in the relocation of the computer village from Ikeja to an ICT park elsewhere) not necessarily to the delight of operators in the sector. In January 2017, state governor Akinwunmi Ambode announced plans to transform Yaba into a major technology hub: “I decided to come here just for me to feel the state of things and to learn about your challenges. Our government is seriously committed to assisting entrepreneurs like the ones here to be able to be good startups.”[19] Tech entrepreneurs in the Yaba cluster would be allowed access to the state’s 25 billion naira employment trust fund, for instance. Mr Ambode also announced plans to upgrade road and parking infrastructure in the area. Now the state government is working on initiatives to position the city as a place for technological innovation. Yabacon Valley has a robust broadband infrastructure, courtesy of the state government, for instance.[20]

To be continued.

The author, Dr Rafiq Raji, is an adjunct researcher of the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, a trilateral platform for government, business and academia to promote knowledge and expertise on Africa, established by Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Business Federation. This article was specifically written for the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies

#Africa #Markets | 24 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • US debt deluge lifts bond yields to 4-yr high, Asia stocks down
  • US 10-yr yield near 3 pct on inflation, fiscal worries
  • Dollar gains broadly; euro hits low since early March
  • Oil remains high since late 2014, aluminium tumbles

Oil Markets

  • Brent oil prices hit highest since late 2014 on supply cuts, potential sanctions
  • Brent hits Nov-2014 high of $75.20 before dipping below $75
  • Ongoing OPEC supply cuts come amid strong demand
  • Prices also buoyed by looming threat of US sanctions on Iran
  • Brent at $74.89 a barrel, up 0.2 pct (0109GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures at $68.84 a barrel, up 0.3 pct

Precious metals

  • Gold steady but buoyant dollar, Treasury yields weigh
  • Spot gold up 0.1 pct at $1,325.16 per ounce (0041GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.2 pct at $1,327.10 per ounce

Grains

  • Corn ticks higher as USDA confirms planting delays
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.1 pct at $4.74-3/4 per bushel (0051GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.1 pct at $3.78-3/4 a bushel
  • Most active soybean futures down 0.1 pct at $10.31-1/4 a bushel
  • Most active rice futures unchanged at $13.07 per hundredweight

Soft commodities (23 Apr)

  • Raw sugar sinks to 2015 low as Brazilian currency drops
  • July raw sugar settled down 4 pct at 11.4 cents per lb
  • August white sugar settled down 3.9 pct at $329.20 per tonne
  • July arabica coffee settled up 1.1 pct at $1.1895 per lb
  • July robusta coffee settled up 0.6 pct at $1,769 per tonne
  • July London cocoa closed flat at £1,829 per tonne
  • July New York cocoa settled down 0.1 pct at $2,726 per tonne
  • Heavy rainfall in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa-growning regions last week was positive for the April-to-Sept mid-crop, farmers said

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

  • Libya to cover 2018 grain needs with imports, eyes higher harvest
  • Egypt denies Sinai battle choking off food, medicine supplies
  • Madagascar leader urges end to unrest amid protests over deaths
  • Ethiopia says British museum must permanently return its artefacts
  • Former Malawi president Joyce Banda returns from exile
  • Zimbabwe to drop local listing requirement from mining bill – foreign minister
  • Zimbabwe committed to clearing debt obligations – Moyo
  • Africa Crude – Nigeria’s June exports to slip, tenders dominate
  • Dangote Cement appoints Joseph Makoju as CEO
  • South African rand hits 3-mth low on soaring dollar
  • Angola satellite inoperative, Russia to build another one
  • Rival groups from Somali army clash at former UAE training facility
  • Egypt’s Sinai battle chokes food, medical supplies to thousands – report
  • Zimbabwe sets up special courts for election violence
  • Angola president sacks armed forces, spy bosses in latest purge
  • Jailed Egyptian journalist to be awarded UNESCO press freedom prize
  • Kenyan shilling firm, may ease due to importer demand
  • Egypt’s rice farmers see rough times downstream of new Nile mega-dam
  • Ethiopian businesses disappointed by new PM’s economic stance
  • Ivory Coast minister views local processing as crucial to sector
  • Ugandan shilling unchanged, dollar demand from importers weak
  • Libya examines Total-Marathon purchase, casting doubt on deal – sources
  • Offshore investors net sellers of South African stocks, buy bonds

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

#Global #Markets | 24 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Time Data/Event Previous Consensus
0130GMT Australia Inflation Rate QoQ Q1 0.6% 0.5%
0130GMT Australia Inflation Rate YoY Q1 1.9% 2.0%
0430GMT Japan All Industry Activity Index MoM FEB -1.8% 0.1%
0500GMT Japan Leading Economic Index Final FEB 105.6 105.8
0500GMT Japan Coincident Index Final FEB 114.9 117.5
0800GMT Germany Ifo Business Climate APR 114.7 102.7
0830GMT UK Public Sector Net Borrowing MAR £0.27B
1000GMT UK CBI Industrial Trends Orders APR 4 6
1000GMT UK CBI Business Optimism Index Q2 13
1300GMT US House Price Index MoM FEB 0.8% 0.5%
1300GMT US S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price MoM FEB 0.3%
1300GMT US S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price YoY FEB 6.4% 6.3%
1400GMT US Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index APR 15 16
1400GMT US CB Consumer Confidence APR 127.7 126
1400GMT US New Home Sales MoM MAR -0.6% 1.9%
1400GMT US New Home Sales MAR 0.618M 0.63M
1530GMT US 52-Week Bill Auction 2.1%
1530GMT US 4-Week Bill Auction 1.6%
1700GMT US 2-Year Note Auction 2.3%
2030GMT US API Crude Oil Stock Change 20/APR -1.047M

#Africa #Markets | 23 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia stocks struggle with rising yields; oil stays high
  • US earnings season heats up with major tech names due
  • PMI surveys to help judge if Q1 slowdown was temporary
  • Rising Treasury yields rattle stocks, underpin dollar
  • Oil prices just off peaks, lift inflation expectations

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices dip on rising US rig count, but overall sentiment remains bullish
  • US rig count rises to 820, highest since March 2015
  • But strong demand, OPEC cuts still support prices overall
  • Brent crude oil futures down 0.3 pct at $73.87 per barrel (0031GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures down 0.3 pct at $68.17 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold slips to 2-week low as rising bond yields support dollar
  • Spot gold down 0.1 pct at $1,333.20 per ounce (0051GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2 pct at $1,335.50 per ounce

Grains

  • Wheat prices jump 1 pct as US rains bring only limited relief
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 1 pct at $4.82 per bushel (0118GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.7 pct at $3.79 per bushel
  • Most active soybean futures up 0.2 pct at $10.42 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.1 pct at $12.98 per hundredweight

Soft commodities (20 Apr)

  • Cocoa retreats from highs on weak N.American grind data
  • July New York cocoa settled down 2.5 pct at $2,729 per tonne
  • July London cocoa settled down 2.6 pct at £1,829 per tonne
  • May raw sugar closed down 0.9 pct at 11.64 cents per lb
  • August white sugar settled down 0.2 pct at $342.40 per tonne
  • July arabica coffee settled down 1.3 pct at $1.177 per lb
  • July robusta coffee settled up 1.3 pct at $1.177 per lb

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

  • South Africa PPI data for Mar-18 due on 26 Apr [fcst. 4.1% yy, prev. 4.2%]
  • South Africa M3 data for Mar-18 due on 30 Apr [fcst. 5.3% yy, prev. 6.9%]
  • Kenya inflation data for Apr-18 expected on 30 Apr [fcst. 3.1% yy, prev. 4.2%]
  • Uganda inflation data for Apr-18 expected on 30 Apr [fcst. 2.0% yy, prev. 2.0%]

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

  • IMF says Congo Republic will get deal once conditions met
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa flies in to try and quel northern protests
  • Ghana’s 91-day bill yield dips to 13.33 pct
  • DP World should rethink port deals in Somalia – foreign minister
  • Morocco and EU start talks on new fisheries deal
  • MTN picks lead managers for Nigerian unit’s IPO
  • Steinhoff faces shareholders as it battles to stay afloat
  • US army trainers try to build West Africa defences against jihad
  • Old Mutual, Nedbank sign managed separation agreement
  • Africa Crude – Nigerian programme surface, spot trading quiet
  • Kenya’s Microsoft-backed Mawingu aims to triple broadband users
  • Botswana president urges Congo’s Kabila not to stand again
  • Introduction of minimum wage in South Africa delayed, ministry says
  • Britain wants Zimbabwe back in the Commonwealth, but eyes July election
  • Libya to cover 2018 grain needs with imports, eyes higher harvest
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa visits province beset by violent protests
  • Mauritius 91-day treasury bill yield rises to 3.58 pct
  • Wartorn South Sudan’s army chief dies
  • Zimbabwe’s parliament orders Mugabe to answer questions over diamonds
  • Congo Republic says it has agreed a deal with IMF
  • Food prices lift Morocco’s annual inflation to 2.5 pct y/y in March
  • Yields mostly lower at undersubscribed South African CPI-linked bond auction
  • France expels radical imaam to Algeria
  • South Africa’s 3-mth t-bill average yield dips to 7.14 percent
  • Angola opens bids for Cobalt’s former oil blocks
  • Burundi replaces foreign minister with ex-head of ruling party youth wing
  • Libyan oil pipeline attacked by ‘terrorist group’ – source
  • Macro calls Sisi to discuss Syrian crisis
  • Tunisia reopens consulate in Libyan capital Tripoli
  • Madagascar police fire teargas at opposition protests
  • Egypt aims for $10 bln foreign investment in oil, gas in 2018/19
  • Algeria says current global oil price ‘fair’ – state firm CEO
  • Foreign investment in Egypt’s petroleum sector about $10 bln in FY/2017/18
  • Zimbabwe nurses end strike, challenge dismissal in court

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