macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 23 Mar

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

Global Markets

  • Asia shares dive with S&P 500, bond yields fall anew
  • S&P 500 futures off 5%, hit limit down
  • Asia shares under water, oil falls again
  • US 10-yr bond yield drops to 0.8%
  • More countries shut businesses, tell people to stay home

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices mixed after opening sharply lower
  • Brent down 69 cents at $26.29 a barrel
  • WTI up 30 cents at $22.93

Precious metals

  • Gold falls as cash dash overwhelms stimulus measures
  • Spot gold down 0.7% at $1,487.83/oz. (0101GMT)
  • US gold futures up 1% at $1,499.50/oz.


  • Soybeans hit 10-day high on Chinese purchases
  • Soybean futures up 0.5% at $8.67 a bushel (0040GMT)
  • Corn down 0.7% at $3.41-1/2 a bushel
  • Wheat up 0.7% at $5.42-3/4 a bushel

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

  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa addresses nation on covid-19
  • Nigeria shuts Lagos & Abuja international airports
  • Central Bank of Kenya MPC meeting [fcst. 8.0%, prev. 8.25%]
  • Central Bank of Nigeria MPC meeting; 23-24 Mar [fcst. 13.5%, prev. 13.5%]

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

  • Guinea holds contentious referendum despite coronavirus outbreak
  • Egypt’s coronavirus cases rise by 33 to 327, four new deaths
  • Algeria to import pharmaceutical products worth $100 mln for coronavirus
  • Algeria to cut spending & energy investment, delay projects
  • Coronavirus supplies donated by Alibaba’s Ma arrive in Africa
  • African churches swap holy water for hand sanitiser, crowds for videos
  • Mozambique confirms first coronavirus case
  • Egypt to allocate 20 bln Egyptian pounds to support bourse
  • South Africa’s Standard Bank gives students and small businesses payment holiday
  • Algeria coronavirus cases rises by 62 to 201 – health ministry
  • Coronavirus medical supplies donated by Alibaba’s Ma arrive in Ethiopia
  • Tunisia allocates $850 mln to combat effects of coronavirus
  • Royal Air Maroc suspends all domestic flights until further notice
  • Angola, Eritrea, Uganda confirm first cases as coronavirus spreads in Africa
  • Egypt shuts mosques and churches over coronavirus fears
  • Eritrea confirms first coronavirus case, in arrival from Norway
  • Libya’s Government of National Accord orders coronavirus curfew
  • Kenya holds day of prayer as coronavirus fears grow
  • Libya’s LNA follows Tripoli in backing call for pandemic truce
  • Algeria’s coronavirus cases rise by 44 to 139
  • Four Burkina Faso ministers have coronavirus as cases rise to 64
  • Nigeria to shut Lagos, Abuja international airports from Monday
  • Egypt shuts churches for two weeks over coronavirus fears
  • Mauritius says reports first death from coronavirus
  • eSwatini delivers 100 bps rate cut amid covid-19 outbreak
  • South Africa pumps-up liquidity, mulls shorter trade hours to ease coronavirus strain
  • Fears over handwashing in Africa to stem coronavirus seen as trigger for change
  • US envoy to South Africa draws fire after possible virus exposure
  • Tunisia orders lockdown, postpones loan repayments for poor
  • Zimbabwe confirms first case of coronavirus
  • South Africa Airways cancels more flights as funds run dry
  • Tunisia banks will postpone low-income employee loans over coronavirus
  • Nigeria central bank devalues official FX rate by 15% after trade with local bank – traders
  • Sudan confirms second coronavirus case, Khartoum bans mass gatherings
  • South Africa’s Tsogo Sun to close 36 hotels as demand collapses
  • Madagascar confirms first cases of coronavirus – president
  • Algerians forego weekly protest amid coronavirus
  • Kenya’s high court holds open air hearings to slow spread of coronavirus
  • Africa Oil – Sonangol cuts offers as virus hits demand
  • South Africa stocks rebound from 7-yr low on bank stimulus measures
  • Nigeria tries to shed fuel subsidy costs while keeping price control
  • Tunisia orders lockdown
  • Kenya central bank sells dollars after shilling slides to near record low
  • Morocco’s CPI slows to 1.1% y/y in February – planning agency
  • Tourists’ departure leaves Madagascar forlorn as coronavirus fears bite
  • Kenya’s flower exports wither as demand drops amid coronavirus pandemic
  • Uganda to seek from World Bank help over coronavirus, cenbank to provide liquidity
  • Uganda shilling steady as demand recedes
  • South Africa’s SAA administrators ask for extension for rescue plan until May 29
  • South Africa’s MTN drops data prices, sees only short-term revenue hit
  • Uganda’s central bank to give liquidity to commercial banks to cope with coronavirus outbreak
  • South Africa Airways suspends intercontinental flights until May 31
  • South Africa’s rand, stocks bounce as central bank measures ease virus pain
  • Uganda to seek $190 mln from World Bank to cushion coronavirus blow
  • South Africa’s health minister says coronavirus cases rise to 202
  • South Africa’s Investec profit to drop by up to 23% as coronavirus bites
  • Kenya shilling hammered by the impact of coronavirus

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

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