#Africa #Markets | 20 Mar

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares fall as Facebook data flap spooks tech stocks
  • Facebook data woes lead technology shares lower
  • Investors reduce position ahead of Fed’s policy review
  • Concerns over US protectionism undermines sentiment

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices rise on Middle East tension, but soaring US output caps gains
  • Oil traders concerned US may reimpose sanctions on Iran
  • Falling Venezuela output also supports oil markets
  • Shaky stock markets, fear of trade war caps gains
  • Relentless rise in US crude production also weighs
  • US WTI crude futures at $62.31 per barrel, up 0.4 pct (0128GMT)
  • Brent crude futures at $66.26 per barrel, up 0.3 pct

Precious metals

  • Gold prices inch down on stronger dollar, Fed in focus
  • Spot gold falls 0.1 pct to $1,315.86 per ounce (0108GMT)
  • US gold futures for April delivery drop 0.2 pct to $1,315.80 per ounce


  • Wheat prices firm after deep losses, rains aid drought-hit US winter crop
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.9 pct at $4.54-3/4 per bushel (0058GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.1 pct at $3.75-1/2 a bushel
  • Most active soybean futures up 0.2 pct at $10.25
  • Most active rice futures up 0.1 pct at $12.30 per hundredweight

Soft commodities (19 Mar)

  • Sugar up sharply from 2-1/2 year low, cocoa markets sink
  • May raw sugar settled up 1.9 pct at 12.89 cents per lb
  • May white sugar settled up 2.4 pct at $356.60 per tonne
  • May New York cocoa settled down 3.1 pct at $2,445 per tonne
  • May London cocoa settled down 3.6 pct at £1,731 per tonne
  • Cocoa price decline from multi-month highs on diminished crop outlooks in Ivory Coast and Ghana
  • But cocoa farmers say abundant and regular rainfall in Ivory Coast bodes well for Apr-Sept mid-crop
  • May arabica coffee settled up 1.1 pct at $1.1935 per lb
  • May robusta coffee settled up 0.7 pct at $1,757 per tonne

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

  • South Africa inflation data for Feb-18 due [fcst. 3.5% yy, prev. 4.4%]
  • South Africa current account balance data for Q4 2017 due [fcst. -2.6% GDP, prev. -2.3%]

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

  • Cambridge Analytica stage-managed Kenyan president’s campaigns – UK TV
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa suspends revenue service head Moyane
  • Spanish police free Mali diplomat’s wife held prisoner in consulate
  • Total Eren targets Africa’s power-starved mining sector
  • South Africa’s Tiger Brands closes Pretoria plant after listeria found
  • South Africa’s Tiger Brands unsure of listeria class action costs
  • Zambia picks Unitel unit as fourth mobile operator
  • Surprise Kenya rate cut puts lending rate cap in focus
  • Sudan’s Bashir backs Sisi election bid, agrees more cooperation
  • South African authorities ordered to pay $15 million over death of 144 patients
  • Armed group abducts two Tunisians in Cameroon
  • Militant blows self up during standoff with Tunisian forces
  • UN condemns Congo’s “unlawful” crackdown on protests
  • South African court grounds Gupta jet in case brought by Canadian credit agency
  • Sisi’s only challenger lays low ahead of Egyptian election
  • Egypt’s reign as darling of emerging market debt could be ending
  • Zimbabwe changes law limiting majority ownership by the state to diamond, platinum mines
  • UK says $500 mln from alleged fraud can be returned to Angola
  • South Africa’s Netcare gets competition clearance for $107 mln Akeso takeover
  • Nigeria’s central bank to hold interest rate meeting April 3-4 – spokesman
  • OPEC’s Barkindo hopes for oil market stability this year – Azeri TV
  • Mnangagwa says less than half of Zimbabwean funds stashed abroad returned
  • Mnangagwa says Zimbabweans return $591 million stashed abroad
  • Offshore investors net sellers of South African stocks, buy bonds
  • Egypt to offer shares in 4-6 state firms, aims to raise up to $850 mln
  • Egypt expects GDP growth at 5.3-5.4 pct in Q3 FY 2017-2018 – finmin

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

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