macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 17 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Asian shares hover around 3-wk highs on Chinese support measures
  • MSCI ex-Japan ticks up , Japan’s Nikkei stumbles
  • Chinese shares on firm footing on stimulus hopes
  • Japan’s GDP shrinks at fastest pace in 6 yrs
  • Singapore downgrades growth outlook due to coronavirus

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices slip ahead of data pointers on impact of coronavirus on demand
  • Global oil demand could fall by 435,000 bpd in Q1 – IEA
  • Russia may support further OPEC+ cuts on growing oil glut
  • Brent down 33 cents at $56.99 a barrel (0121GMT)
  • WTI down 13 cents at $51.92

Precious metals

  • Gold holds near 2-wk high on uncertainty over virus impact
  • Spot gold little changed at $1,582.27/oz. (0226GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.1% at $1,585.40/oz.

Grains (15 Feb)

  • Corn, soy, wheat futures end lower ahead of US holiday weekend
  • Wheat futures settled up 0.1% at $5.42-3/4 a bushel
  • Corn futures settled down 0.5% at $3.77-3/4 a bushel
  • Soybeans futures settled down 0.4% at $8.93-3/4 a bushel

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

  • US Secretary of State Pompeo tours Africa (Senegal, Angola & Ethiopia); 16-19 Feb
  • Nigeria inflation Jan-20 [fcst. 12.1% yy, prev. 12.0%]
  • Bank of Zambia MPC meeting; 17-18 Feb [fcst. 11.5% , prev. 11.5%]
  • Protests on insecurity expected in Nigeria
  • South Africa state capture inquiry resumes

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today

  • Netanyahu says Israeli airliners have started overflying Sudan
  • Burundi opposition picks presidential contender as UN warns of rights abuses
  • UN says Libya arms embargo a ‘joke’, demands accountability
  • Zimbabwe inflation falls to 2.23% m/m in January
  • Armed gang kills at least 30 in northwest Nigeria, police say
  • Tunisia talks on cabinet press on amid risk of new election
  • Tunisia PM designate proposes new govt, negotiations to continue
  • Libya faces financial crisis due to oil blockade – PM
  • Turkey’s Erdogan says Russia managing Libya conflict “at highest level” – NTV
  • Over 6,000 bodies found in Burundi’s mass graves
  • South Sudan cuts number of states from 32 to 10, unlocking peace process
  • Egypt agrees with five energy firms on exploration in Mediterranean – minister
  • Attackers kill 31 in Mali village, after massacre last year at same site
  • Turkey says Libya’s Haftar violating ceasefire, must be stopped
  • South Sudan cuts number of states from 32 to 10, unlocking peace process
  • Egypt’s jobless rate drops to 8% in fourth quarter 2019 – state agency
  • Egypt confirms first coronavirus case, says affected person is a foreigner
  • In new attack on site of massacre, 21 killed or missing in Mali
  • Africa Oil – Spot trade grinds to a halt
  • South Africa’s rand firmer after Ramaphosa’s speech, stocks flat
  • First Quantum says no expansion at Zambia copper mine until 2024
  • Algerians keep up protests a year after demonstrations began
  • Ethiopia to hold parliamentary elections on Aug. 29
  • Nigeria’s military razed villages in war on insurgents – Amnesty
  • South African court rejects union bid to block SAA job cuts
  • Kenya’s KCB sees loan growth tripling to 15% after rate cap appeal
  • South African public sector union says wage deal not open for review
  • Nigeria to pick advisers for $3.3 bln eurobond via open bids – OMO
  • Ramaphosa’s speech underscores weak South Africa credit outlook – Fitch
  • No reform, no cash: majors hold out for new Nigerian oil law
  • eSwatini’s economy likely grew 1.4% in 2019 – finin
  • Zimbabwe court clears opposition official facing subversion charges
  • Zimbabwe police fire teargas as court rules on opposition leader’s subversion case
  • Tough livestock farmers touched by South Africa drought donations
  • South Africa’s central bank moves to sell stake in African Bank
  • Lenders cheered as Kenya binged on medical equipment. Did patients get help?
  • African Development Bank says World Bank chief’s criticism “misleading”

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

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