Nigeria Decides 2019: Pre-election note

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Concerns about potential heavy-handedness by the security services have likely been doused by the speech of President Muhammadu Buhari on the eve of the delayed 2019 elections now scheduled for the 23rd of February, a week later than initially planned.

Mr Buhari had remarked that he had ordered the police and the army to be “ruthless” with ballot-box snatchers and the like. There was tremendous outrage in the aftermath.

While he did not exactly say security personnel should shoot-to-kill electoral offenders, it was implied as such. The major concern was that the president might have inadvertently given the police and the army a long leash or no leash at all.

Irrespective of whether that was indeed the president’s intent, it is abundantly clear now he took note of the feedback. How so? His election-eve speech was designed to convey a softening of the pedal of sorts. He did not wear the full traditional attire, for instance, choosing to forgo the robe (similar to not wearing a jacket).

He also started his speech in an endearing manner. Typically, presidential speeches in these parts start with the phrase “Fellow Nigerians”. This time around, the president started his speech with the phrase “Dear Nigerians”. The drafters must have hoped these subtle changes would be noted. And on time, too. Well, they were.

Of course, the president’s true intent cannot be totally deemed to be objective. Since he is seeking re-election, he has little choice but to try to win over as many voters as possible. Still, the move was a welcome one. And it is likely to have the intended effect of putting voters at ease.

I followed the presidential campaigns closely. Based on my observations, the presidential election would likely be close. No one can say for sure which of the two leading candidates, Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), would win.

One esteemed analyst I asked says the winner between the pair would likely be determined by the courts in the end. There are those who probably reckon this conclusion has been reached by the leading candidates as well.

Most analysts, the ones I have discussed with, at least, are not particular about which of the two leading candidates wins. They see them as more of the same. And that is true to some extent. But they do care that the process be credible.

So, what is the probability that the elections would be free and fair? I think they will be. The presidential election, at least. The ones that concern one are for a number of states. Ogun state bears watching. Imo state too. Kano state as well.

#Africa #Markets | 22 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares fall as weakening global outlook offsets trade progress
  • MSCI Asia ex-Japan down 0.1 pct
  • China home price growth eases in January
  • Aussie dollar rebounds as officials seek to reassure investors

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices fall as US crude output hits record 12 mln bpd
  • Brent down 0.3 pct at $66.87 per barrel (0326GMT)
  • WTI down 0.2 pct at $56.84 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices rise on trade talk optimism; Fed stance limits gains
  • Spot gold up 0.2 pct at $1,325.52 per ounce (0548GMT)
  • US gold futures unchanged at $1,328.1 per ounce

Grains

  • Wheat prices edge up, but set to finish week down more than 2 pct
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.3 pct at $4.87-3/4 per bushel (0156GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.1 pct at $3.75-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down about 0.1 pct at $9.10-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures up about 0.1 pct at $10.40 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa’s state capture inquiry continues; Eskom chair Mabuza to testify
  • Nigeria on public holiday ahead of key elections tomorrow

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

  • Sime Darby Plantation considers exiting West Africa palm oil operations – sources
  • Eastern Libya military forces claim control of El Feel oilfield
  • Libya El Feel oilfield output still around 75,000 bpd, reports of fighting not correct – engineer
  • Africa Crude – Sonangol sells all April cargoes in firm market
  • Algeria’s president to visit Switzerland for medical checks – presidency statement
  • After Eskom bailout, focus shifts to South Africa’s credit rating
  • South African insurer Discovery could consider future acquisitions
  • Nigeria’s Buhari, Atiku make final pitches for support before delayed vote
  • Zimbabwe’s currency reality check puts plaster on deep wound
  • South Africa’s Truworths first-half earnings drop on lower spending
  • Nigeria’s Zenith Bank sees loan growth in 2019 as economy recovers
  • Higher South African spending limit will not weaken policy credibility – Moody’s
  • Nigeria’s electoral commission says 86.6 pct of voting cards collected
  • Eskom support will weigh on South Africa’s finances – S&P Global
  • Sudan security forces arrest prominent party leaders – opposition member
  • AMCU plans to extend Sibanye gold strike to other South Africa miners
  • Congo police executed 27 in anti-gang operation – Human Rights Watch
  • Global sovereign debt to jump to $50 trillion – S&P Global
  • South Africa’s Woolworths axes dividend from Australian business to ease debt
  • South Africa’s Eskom bailout could reach 150 bln rand
  • South Africa’s state firms, wages top risks to public finances – finmin
  • Nigeria opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar would continue Niger Delat amnesty programme – policy advisor
  • South Africa’s AMCU plans sympathy strike at Sibanye platinum shafts
  • Uganda shilling holds steady due to sluggish demand for dollars
  • Algeria military plane crash kills two – ministry
  • South Africa’s AMCU union plans sympathy strikes at Amplats, Lonmin
  • MTN Uganda denies it understates revenues, says it is fully tax-compliant
  • South Africa’s MTN says chief of Iranian associate to retire

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

#Global #Markets | 22 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
08:00 Turkey Capacity Utilization 
08:00 Turkey Business Confidence 
08:00 Germany GDP Growth Rate YoY Final 
08:00 Germany GDP Growth Rate QoQ Final 
08:30 Switzerland Industrial Production YoY 
10:00 Germany Ifo Current Conditions 
10:00 Germany Ifo Expectations 
10:00 Germany Ifo Business Climate 
11:00 Euro Area Inflation Rate MoM 
11:00 Euro Area Core Inflation Rate YoY Final 
11:00 Euro Area Inflation Rate YoY Final 
12:00 UK CBI Distributive Trades
NEWS
Malaysia Consumer Prices Drop for 1st Time in Over 9 Years 
Malaysia Leading Index Falls 1.4% MoM in December 
Thailand Imports Surge Unexpectedly 
Thailand Exports Fall More than Estimated 
Thailand January Trade Gap Largest in Near 6 Years 
House Price Falls in Australia Not All Bad: RBA Lowe 
Japan Core Inflation Edges Up to 0.8% 
Japan Inflation Rate Slows to 15-Month Low 
Moody’s Changes Bahamas’ Rating Outlook to Stable 
Jamaica Inflation Rate Edges Down to 25-Month Low 
Argentina Trade Surplus Below Expectations 
European Shares Close Mostly Lower

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

#Africa #Markets | 21 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares up on Fed outlook
  • Aussie dollar seesaws after strong jobs data
  • Fed minutes (29-30 Jan meeting) provide some relief
  • Investors expect US, China to reach trade deal next month

Oil Markets

  • Oil ticks over near 2019 highs amid OPEC cuts
  • But economic slowdown applies brakes
  • Brent up 6 cents at $67.14 per barrel (0256GMT)
  • WTI up 17 cents at $57.33

Precious metals

  • Gold hovers near 10-mth peak amid steady dollar after Fed minutes
  • Spot gold up 0.1 pct at $1,339.99 per ounce (0054GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.4 pct at $1,342.5 per ounce

Grains

  • Wheat prices inch up from 7-mth low, but soybeans edge down
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.4 pct at $4.82-1/2 per bushel (0157GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up about 0.1 pct at $3.71 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.1 pct at $9.01-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures up 0.4 pct at $10.21 per hundredweight

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

  • Ghana state of the nation address (SONA) by Akufo-Addo today
  • Speech by presidential contender of main opposition Nigerian party expected
  • Rwanda central bank to present monetary policy & financial stability statement

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 Steinhoff gets shareholder petition for inquiry before Dutch court
  • South Africa’s Woolworths half-year earnings drop
  • France sale to Egypt helps lift EU wheat off 7-mth low
  • South Africa pledges $5 bln Eskom bailout as budget creaks
  • Zimbabwe scraps bond-note dollar peg, paves way for exchange rate slide
  • South Africa’s budget shows limited fiscal flexibility – Moody’s
  • Africa Crude – Nigeria April programmes expected, tenders in focus
  • Egypt executes nine over public prosecutor’s killing
  • South Africa’s rand flat after slipping in knee-jerk reaction to budget
  • UN reports mass rape, killings, torture in South Sudan, seeks oil scrutiny
  • Tunisia central bank sees inflation below 7 pct after rate rise
  • Sudan’s economic decline provides fuel for anger against Bashir
  • Zambia, Zimbabwe shortlist foreign firms to build hydro plant
  • Ivory Coast cuts 2019 cashew farmgate price 25 pct
  • Deutsche Bank to rebuild in South Africa, months after cuts
  • US, Britain, Norway alarmed at escalationg violence in South Sudan
  • EU illegal migrants arrivals fall but stronger borders needed – Frontex head
  • Bank Audi studies buying National Bank of Greece’s Egypt unit – source
  • Petrol suppliers cut price to encourage Nigerians to travel to vote again
  • “Two is enough”, Egypt tells poor families as population booms
  • Libya’s ancient ruins blighted by theft, shunned by tourists
  • Zimbabwe scraps bond note, US dollar peg – central bank
  • Tunisia central bank chief says raising rates not enough to curb inflation
  • Zimbabwe launches forex interbank market amid currency crunch
  • South Africa Eskom dollar bonds broadly gain after budget
  • South Africa to bail out Eskom without taking on debts
  • VW South Africa targets record output despite headwinds
  • South Africa dollar bonds fall after growth forecasts slashed in budget
  • South Africa’s Eskom to get 69 bln rand bailout over 3 years
  • Barrick outlines proposal to settle Acacia dispute with Tanzania
  • South Africa miner Sibanye raises loss estimate by $100 mln-plus
  • Tanzania rebases economy, 2015 GDP now 3.8 pct larger – stats office
  • Egypt issues $4 bln in foreign currency bonds – finance ministry
  • Zambia finmin orders cleanup of public payroll
  • ‘No place to sell’: thousands hit in Zimbabwe clampdown on street vendors
  • Zambia debt weighing on central bank reserves – governor
  • Kenya paves way for green bonds in 2019 with new rules
  • Egypt executes 9 men over killing of public prosecutor
  • Chinese “Ivory Queen” smuggler sentenced to 15 years in jail in Tanzania
  • Uganda ruling party backs Museveni re-election bid
  • South Africa’s EOH Holdings founder and chair resigns
  • Kenya shilling steady, expected to firm due to remittance inflows
  • Egypt will issue more international bonds by end June – minister
  • South Africa consumer inflation falls to 4.0 pct in January
  • South Africa Bidcorp HY profit rise on upbeat European market

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

#Global #Markets | 21 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
08:00 Germany Inflation Rate YoY Final 
08:00 Indonesia Interest Rate Decision 
08:45 France Business Confidence 
09:00 Euro Area ECB Praet Speech 
09:15 France Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash 
09:15 France Markit Services PMI Flash 
09:30 Germany Markit Services PMI Flash 
09:30 Germany Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash 
09:30 Hong Kong Unemployment Rate 
10:00 Spain Balance of Trade 
10:00 Euro Area Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash 
10:00 Euro Area Markit Services PMI Flash
NEWS
Dutch Jobless Rate Steady at 3.6% in January 
Singapore Current Account Surplus Widens in Q4 
Australia Jobless Rate Unchanged at 5%, Matches Estimates 
Jamaica Cuts Interest Rate by 25 Bps to 1.5% 
Fed Policymakers Unsure on Future Rate Hikes: Minutes 
European Shares Close Higher 
Eurozone Consumer Morale Stronger than Expected 
Belgium Consumer Confidence Lowest in Over 2 Years 
Argentina Economic Activity Falls the Least in Near a Year 
Russia GDP Growth Eases to 14-Month Low 
Brazil Business Confidence Deteriorates in February 
Armenia GDP Growth Rate Accelerates to 3.4% in

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

#Africa #Markets | 20 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares rally to 4-1/2-mth peak on hopes of US-China trade deal
  • Ex-Japan Asia MSCI up 1 pct to highest since early Oct
  • Investors expect US, China to reach trade deal next month
  • Minutes of Fed’s Jan 29-30 policy meeting in focus

Oil Markets

  • Oil near 2019 highs amid OPEC cuts, US sanctions
  • US sanctions on Iran, Venezuela tighten markets
  • But soaring US shale output offsets some of the disruption
  • Economic slowdown to weigh on oil prices by Q4 – BNP Paribas
  • Brent up 0.2 pct at $66.58 per barrel (0300GMT)
  • WTI up 0.5 pct at $56.39 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices hold at 10-mth highs; markets await Fed minutes
  • Spot gold marginally lower at $1,339.61 per ounce (0021GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2 pct at $1,342.6 an ounce

Grains

  • Wheat rises after dropping to 4-mth low, soybean prices firm
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.3 pct at $4.91-1/4 per bushel (0134GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.5 pct at $3.71-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up 0.1 pct at $9.01-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures up 0.2 pct at $10.01 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa 2019 budget to be presented by finmin Mboweni today
  • South Africa inflation data for Jan-19 expected [fcst. 4.5% yy, prev. 4.5%]
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to announce MPC decision(s) today
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues

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

  • Libya’s NOC to assess security at El Sharara before resuming production
  • Death toll from northwest Nigeria attack doubles to 130
  • Eastern Libya forces hand El Sharara oilfield to oil guards
  • Tunisia central bank raises key rate to 7.75 pct from 6.75 pct to curb inflation
  • Zimbabwe to run out of bread in 1 week as flour stocks dwindle – millers
  • Chinese “Ivory Queen” smuggler sentenced to 15 years jail in Tanzania
  • Africa Crude – Nigeria March overhang persists as April programmes awaited
  • South Africa’s rand tepid ahead of annual budget speech
  • MTN faces more problems in Uganda as authorities query its sales figures
  • Delta Sugar looks to raise output as Egypt pushes sugar beet
  • South Africa parliament approves long-delayed carbon tax bill
  • Glencore to cut output, jobs at copper, cobalt mine in Congo – WSJ
  • UN says fighting, instability have displaced 100,000 in Burkina Faso
  • South Africa need to invest to rebuild confidence in power sector – minister
  • South Africa’s AngloGold looks to streamline assets, Argentine mine up for sale
  • South Africa updated long-term energy plan to be ready in March – minister
  • ‘Basic needs before infrastructure’: fashioning a fairer Senegal
  • Egypt security forces kill 16 suspected militants – state media
  • South Africa govt meeting fails to break Eskom split impasse – COSATU
  • Union Fenosa says guarantees not sufficient to restart Egypt LNG plant
  • South Africa defence group Denel to seek investment partners: CEO
  • Egypt begins receiving offers for dollar bond sale – finmin
  • South Africa’s AMCU calls on Sibanye platinum workers to join strike
  • Kenya says crude oil capacity insufficient for refinery
  • South Africa needs to invest, build confidence in power generation – Radebe
  • South Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore 2018 headline earnings edge lower
  • South Africa AngloGold Ashanti posts highe full-year earnings

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

#Global #Markets | 20 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
06:30 Netherlands Consumer Confidence 
08:00 Turkey Consumer Confidence 
08:00 Germany PPI MoM 
08:00 Euro Area ECB Praet Speech 
09:00 South Africa Inflation Rate YoY 
09:00 Euro Area ECB Non-Monetary Policy Meeting 
12:00 UK CBI Industrial Trends Orders 
15:00 Brazil Business Confidence 
16:00 Euro Area Consumer Confidence Flash 
20:00 US FOMC Minutes 
22:30 US API Crude Oil Stock Change 
01:00 US US-China Trade Talks
NEWS
Japan Imports Drop Less than Estimated 
Australia Wages Rise by 2.3% YoY for Second Quarter 
Japan Trade Deficit Widens More than Expected 
New Zealand Business Input Prices Rise Further 
UK Stocks End Lower on HSBC Report 
Colombia Consumer Confidence Improves in January 
Russia Wage Growth Weakest Since 2016 
Russia Unemployment Rate Rises to 9-Month High 
Russia Retail Trade Growth at 18-Month Low 
US Home Builder Confidence Stronger than Expected 
Burundi Consumer Prices Fall the Least in 5 Months 
Portugal Producer Inflation Slows to 10-Month Low

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research