macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 31 Mar

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

Global Markets

  • Asia shares inch up, China’s factories show flicker of life
  • Asia shares supported by month-end demand, calmer mood
  • China factory survey beats forecasts, PMI rises to 52.0
  • Oil prices steady for now after steep drop

Oil Markets

  • Oil rebounds from 18-yr lows after US, Russia agree to talks
  • Brent up 1.9% at $23.19 a barrel (0406GMT)
  • WTI up 5.8% at $21.26

Precious metals

  • Gold falls as dollar strengthens, shares rally; set to post quarterly gain
  • Spot gold down 0.5% at $1,613.40/oz. (0327GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2% at $1,615.80/oz.

Grains

  • Corn prices set for biggest quarterly loss in 5-1/2 years
  • Corn down more than 11% for the quarter
  • Soybeans down more than 7% for the quarter
  • Wheat up more than 2% for the quarter

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

  • Key African countries lock down; subdued economic activity
  • Kenya inflation Mar-20; newly rebased CPI today, forecasts likely off [fcst. 6.6% yy, prev. 6.4%]
  • South Africa Q4-19 employment statistics
  • G20 finance ministers & central bank governors Covid-19 video conference
  • Kenya parliament Kenyatta stimulus plan debate (expected this week); resumed yesterday
  • Uganda inflation Mar-20 [fcst. 3.7% yy, prev. 3.4%]
  • Nigeria FX reserves Mar-20 [prev. $36.38B]
  • South Africa balance of trade Feb-20 [prev. ZAR-1.87B]

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

  • Zimbabwe locks down to fight coronavirus amid economic crisis
  • Egypt’s Sisi calls for boost of strategic food reserves during coronavirus
  • Egypt’s 2020-21 draft budget is based on oil at $61 per barrel
  • Botswana records first 3 cases of coronavirus – health minister
  • Morocco’s Bank of Africa posts 5% profit rise for 2019
  • Africa Oil – Nigeria starts lockdowns, demand dwindles as run cuts rise
  • South Africa’s Massmart says it has enough funding to weather lockdown
  • South Africa franchise restaurant chain Spur to defer interim dividend payment
  • South Africa rand touches all-time low after Moody’s pulls the plug
  • South Africa’s Netcare scraps 2020 outlook due to coronavirus
  • Locust stealing lives: Fears of farmers, herders in Somaliland as a plague looms
  • Developing nations need $2.5 trln coronavirus package – UN
  • South Africa policeman, guard shot man dead during lockdown – police
  • Africa’s megacity Lagos braces for 2-wk coronavirus lockdown
  • Sierra Leone lifts ban on pregnant girls attending school
  • South Africa’s big banks: Up to 20% of borrowers may not qualify for coronavirus relief
  • South Africa default insurance costs jump after rating cut
  • South Africa – Anglo American Platinum declares force majeure on certain supplier contracts after coronavirus lockdown
  • Kenya shilling holds steady against the dollar
  • Uganda shilling inches up as virus curbs demand for dollars
  • Impala Platinum declares force majeure on supply from South Africa mines
  • South Africa – Anglo American cancels rough-diamond sales event due to coronavirus lockdowns
  • South Africa credit growth in February rises to 5.09% y/y
  • Oil crash puts Africa’s cash-strapped producers in peril

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

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