macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 20 Mar

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

Global Markets

  • Asia shares seek calm, dollar rush causing stress
  • Stocks try to steady after punishing week
  • Massive fiscal & monetary stimulus offers lifeline
  • Dollar surges on rush to safety, strains & borrowers
  • Oil firms after biggest daily rally on record

Oil Markets

  • US crude climbs after White House comments on Saudi-Russia dispute
  • Brent down 0.1% at $28.44 per barrel (0151GMT)
  • WTI up 1.7% at $26.34

Precious metals

  • Gold gains but set for weekly drop amid flight for cash
  • Spot gold up 0.4% at $1,475.43/oz. (0029GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.3% at $1,474.20/oz.

Grains

  • Corn rises 1.5%, but on course for biggest weekly loss in 7 mths
  • Corn futures down 4% so far this week
  • Soybean little changed for the week
  • Wheat up more 6% this week

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

  • Namibia independence day; 21 Mar
  • Guinea constitutional referendum; 22 Mar

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

  • Morocco to restrict movement to slow down coronavirus – govt
  • Algeria suspends domestic flights – Ennahar TV
  • Militant attack kills 29 Mali soldiers – army
  • Africa coronavirus cases to rise as some undetected – Africa’s CDC
  • Niger confirms first case of coronavirus – health minister
  • Morocco to pay jobless, defer tax and loans for small business
  • Algeria set to suspend public transport, close cafes and restaurants
  • Egypt detains women who called for prisoner release amid coronavirus, lawyer says
  • Egypt to shut all cafes, malls, sports clubs in evenings until March 31
  • Morocco makes a dozen arrests over coronavirus fake news
  • Egypt registers 46 new coronavirus cases and one new death – health ministry
  • Tributes flow for trailblazing Australia doctor who saved women in Ethiopia
  • WHO working to ensure supplies of diagnostics, protective gear – Tedros
  • Africa Crude – Sonangol allocating May term cargoes
  • South Africa power utility Eskom orders investigation into COO
  • Coronavirus hits tourism industry on Kenya’s coast
  • South Africa’s rand sinks as big rate cut fails to stem declines
  • Tunisia reports first coronavirus death
  • Senegal’s house-bound school children take classes from TV
  • Sudan appoints new central bank governor – statement
  • South Africa delivers 100 bps rate cut to fight coronavirus
  • Mideast, Africa airlines in crisis as coronavirus stifles demand – IATA
  • South Africa to erect 40km fence on Zimbabwe border as coronavirus measure
  • Panic buying forces South Africa supermarkets to ration food
  • Kenya bank Equity Group’s 2019 profit after tax jumps 14%
  • South Africa to regulate price increases linked to coronavirus – trade minister
  • Teen pregnancy risk rises as schools shut for coronavirus in Africa
  • Nigeria currency dealers refuse to show naira quotes after vow to crack down on speculators
  • Uganda central bank sells dollars after shilling weakens
  • Remittances from Egyptians working abroad reach $26.8 bln in 2019 – c.bank
  • PSA halts activity at Morocco plant in Kenitra for 2 weeks
  • Uganda shilling weakens due to offshore investor dollar demand
  • African Airlines lose $4.4 bln in revenue as of March 11 due to coronavirus – IATA
  • Stanchart Kenya confronts coronavirus impact ‘day at a time’
  • Kenya’s shilling weakens to its lowest level since Sept 2015
  • Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Morocco have temporarily waived airport slot rule – IATA
  • Africa talks tough against coronavirus but many wonder why
  • South Africa clears quarantined vessels after suspected coronavirus case
  • South Africa’s Massmart to close non-performing stores
  • Stanchart Kenya’s pretax profit rises 3% in 2019
  • Glut of crude swells across Atlantic basin on coronavirus, OPEC+ hikes
  • Namibia’s MeToo movement on the hunt to find and punish sexual predators

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

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