macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 19 Mar

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

Global Markets

  • Cash is king as emergency stimulus fails to stop market panic
  • ECB launches $850 bln bond buying programme
  • US stock futures volatile, Asia markets bumpy
  • RBA embarks on QE, cuts rates to record low
  • Dollar surges as AUD, NZD collapse

Oil Markets

  • Oil pares gains as investors wait to see if coronavirus stimulus works
  • Brent up 1.1% at $25.25 a barrel (0355GMT); slumped 13% on Wed.
  • WTI up 7.1% at $21.81 a barrel; surged nearly 20% earlier

Precious metals

  • Gold falls more than 1% as investors resume cash stockpiling
  • Spot gold down 1.3% at $1,466.20/oz. (0327GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.7% at $1,467.70/oz.


  • Corn rebounds from lowest since Sept 2016 on oil price surge
  • Corn futures up 1.1% at $3.39 a bushel (0126GMT)
  • Soybeans up 1% at $8.34 a bushel
  • Wheat up 1% at $5.13 a bushel

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

  • South Africa central bank MPC meeting; 17-19 Mar [fcst. 6.0%, prev. 6.25%]

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • Mauritius confirms first three cases of coronavirus
  • Tunisia lets firms defer loans, propose new funds in face of coronavirus
  • Egypt’s reported coronavirus cases increase to 210
  • Morocco asks people to stay home over coronavirus fears
  • Nigeria bans entry to arrivals from 13 countries to combat coronavirus
  • Kenya, Rwanda banks offer relief to distressed borrowers, central banks
  • Nigeria cuts gasoline prices, says official cap will fluctuate with oil
  • Tunisia streets fall silent under coronavirus curfew
  • Nigeria working on worst case scenario of $30 a barrel oil price for revised budget – finmin
  • US blacklists China, South Africa companies over Iran oil trade
  • South Africa regulator invites public comments on power procurement plans
  • Nigeria launches “modulation mechanism” allowing crude oil price fall to cut petrol costs – presidency aide
  • Nigeria cenbank to inject 1 trln naira to coronavirus-hit economy
  • Ghana central bank cuts key rate to 14.5% due to coronavirus
  • Africa Oil – Qua Iboe falls to discount on demand slump
  • Nigeria’s central bank to inject 1 trln naira into manufacturing, imports – statement
  • South Africa bans cruise ships with liner docked in port
  • South Africa rand, stocks sink as coronavirus pummels markets again
  • Nigeria to lower gasoline pump prices to 130 naira – sources
  • Kenya’s horticulture exports drop 7% in 2019 to 142.72 bln shillings
  • No water! No fear! Kenya’s community leaders step up to coronavirus challenge
  • Uganda charges foe of president with treason, illegal weapons possession
  • South Africa transport minister announces “total ban” on cruise ships
  • Eastern Libya imposes curfew over pandemic
  • Uganda central bank sells dollars after shilling weakens
  • Athletics – Kenya orders closure of training camps and clubs over coronavirus worries
  • Uganda central bank says is in market to sell dollars
  • Nigeria bans entry to arrivals from 13 countries to combat coronavirus
  • South Africa retail sales up 1.2% y/y in January
  • Zambia’s health ministry confirms first two cases of COVID-19
  • South Africa’s Adcock Ingram buys Plush Professional in push into homecare market
  • Uganda shilling weakens as coronavirus hits tourism, remittances
  • South Africa trade union dig in for fight over public sector wages
  • Official Zimbabwe exchange rate falls by a third as central bank loosens grip
  • Kenya shilling weakens against the dollar
  • South Africa Airways cancels 162 flights due to coronavirus
  • Kenya banks to offer relief to distressed borrowers – central bank
  • South Africa consumer inflation rises to 4.6% y/y in February
  • South Africa’s confirmed covid-19 cases rises to 116
  • South Africa’s Libstar posts 10.9% rise in FY profit
  • South Africa airline SA Express suspends operations, partly due to coronavirus
  • Armed with lessons from ebola, Africa braces for coronavirus surge

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

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