macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 9 Mar

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

Global Markets

  • World shares trampled in coronavirus panic, oil prices plunge
  • Oil crashes more than 20% as Saudi Arabia cuts prices
  • [US crude falls more than 33% to $27.64, exceeding 1991 decline]
  • [Brent down 30% at $31.59 a barrel]
  • Nikkei sinks more than 5%, S&P 500 futures down 4.9%
  • Fed funds fully price for 75 bps cut in March, chance of 100 bps
  • 30-yr treasury yields drop below 1%, drag dollar down
  • Yen surges as Russian rouble, Mexican peso in free-fall

Oil Markets

  • Oil plunges 25% after Saudi Arabia slashes prices, says will open taps
  • Brent down 25% at $33.96 a barrel (0319GMT)
  • WTI down 26% at $30.55

Precious metals

  • Gold climbs to 7-yr high above $1,700 as virus fuels safe-haven bid
  • Spot gold up 0.7% at $1,686.22/oz. (0325GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.9% at $1,687.80/oz.


  • Corn futures drop 2%, soybeans down 1.8% on coronavirus panic
  • Corn futures down 2% at $3.68-1/2 a bushel (0136GMT)
  • Soybean down 1.8% at $8.75 a bushel
  • Wheat down 1.7% at $5.07 a bushel

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

  • South Africa’s Eskom resumes power cuts
  • Next Einstein Forum in Nairobi (10 Mar); Kenyatta, Kagame & Masisi expected
  • South Africa mining production Jan-20 (12 Mar) [fcst. -0.2% yy, prev. 1.8%]
  • South Africa manufacturing production Jan-20 (12 Mar) [fcst. -5.8% yy, prev. -5.9%]

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

  • Egypt reports first coronavirus fatality as German tourist dies
  • Saudi Arabia suspends travel to and from 9 countries including UAE, Bahrain & Egypt
  • South Africa’s Eskom to resume power cuts on Monday
  • Senior figure in Somalia’s al Shabaab killed in air strike – state media
  • Egypt tries to protect tourism after coronavirus outbreak on cruise ship
  • Morocco’s RAM suspends flights to Venice and Milan over coronavirus fears
  • US Railnet plans $11 bln railway project in southern Africa
  • Tunisia cuts 2020 growth forecast, seeks new IMF deal
  • Tunisia cuts 2020 growth forecast to 1% from 2.7% – PM
  • Egypt confirms 33 new cases of coronavirus on Nile cruise ship
  • Congo president says army spy chief died by hanging
  • Ethiopia draft report blames Boeing for 737 MAX plane crash – sources
  • US creates new envoy position to counter rising terrorism in Sahel
  • Liberia suspends fuel importers’ licenses over gasoline shortages
  • Some members of OPEC were insisting non-OPEC join production cuts – Iran oil minister
  • Morocco to widen dirham band to 5% on March 9 – Finance ministry
  • Nigeria fertilizer maker Notore eyes 40 bln naira capital increase
  • Africa Oil – Traders reassesses market after steep price decline
  • Moody’s cuts South Africa’s 2020 GDP growth forecast after coronavirus
  • Cameroon, Togo confirm first cases of coronavirus
  • Congo rape survivors re-enact trauma in new film
  • ‘Spread the word!” Zambia buys artisanal gold to formalise unregulated mining
  • Liberia suspends fuel importers’ licenses over gasoline shortages
  • South Africa coronavirus case came via Dubai to Durban
  • Coronavirus cases rise to 45 in Greece after group trip to Israel, Egypt
  • Cameroon’s ‘Gurl Boss’ crew takes on male-dominated film world
  • Kenya govt budgets losing credibility, parliamentary panel says
  • South Africa’s Capitec says full-year profit to rise by up to 21%
  • 12 coronavirus cases on Egypt cruise ship are all asymptomatic – WHO, health ministry
  • Zambia president says church leaders inciting reprisals for chemical spray attacks
  • Pepper spray and punches: South Africans ready for Women’s Day
  • South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum declares force majeure cuts 2020 outlook
  • Africa’s first elected female president to train ‘wave’ of women leaders
  • Five wounded in suicide blast near US embassy in Tunis – local radio
  • South Africa drugmaker Aspen sees no immediate impact of India’s decision to curb drug efforts
  • South Africa – 3 AngloGold Ashanti miners dead after rockfall at Mponeng mine
  • South Africa’s Sanlam warns full-year profits could fall by 25%
  • Kenya shilling stabilises against the dollar
  • Zimbabwe artist’s dynamic stone sculptures find global acclaim
  • South Africa’s net foreign reserves rise to $45.4 bln in February

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

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