macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 17 Apr

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

Global Markets

  • Asia shares up as plans to re-open US economy offset record slump in China GDP
  • Stocks take China GDP in stride
  • Dollar falls as safe-haven demand wilts
  • US oil futures hit 18-yr low

Oil Markets

  • Brent oil jumps nearly 3% after Trump lays out plan for easing coronavirus restrictions
  • Brent up 2.7% at $28.57 a barrel (0058GMT)
  • WTI up 0.1% at $19.88

Precious metals

  • Gold on track for 2nd weekly gain on global recession fears
  • Spot gold down 0.1% at $1,716.56/oz. (0045GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.1% at $1,730.30/oz.


  • Wheat faces biggest weekly loss since late February on declining demand
  • Wheat down 4.4% this week
  • Corn down more than 3% for the week
  • Soybeans down 1.7% week thus far

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

  • Liberia parliament debates Weah covid-19 stimulus plan
  • Nigeria inflation rate Mar-20 [fcst. 13.2% yy, prev. 12.2%]
  • Key African countries on lockdown; subdued economic activity
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Nigeria urges ‘appropriate’ debt solutions for middle-income countries
  • South Africa to allow mines to operate at 50% capacity during lockdown
  • Wheat slumps after Egypt again passes on US grain, soy sags
  • Egypt to halt public transport on Monday to limit holiday crowds
  • Libyans rush to stock up for Ramadan before coronavirus curfew kicks in
  • Mozambique lowers growth forecast to 2.2% over Covid-19
  • IMF gets $11.7 bln in pledges to aid poor countries, will review resources
  • South Africa rand inches lower in cautious trade, shares down
  • Paris wheat up after Egypt buys from France in tender
  • Africa Oil – Angolan programmes emerge, volumes steady
  • Tunisia foreign currency reserves rise to $7.7 bln after new loans
  • Africa may see millions of coronavirus cases, tentative WHO forecast shows
  • IMF’s Georgieva underscores need to help emerging markets, reverse capital outflow
  • Canopy Growth to shut down Yorkton facility, exit South Africa operations
  • Kenya court charges Catholic priest with spreading coronavirus
  • Portugal’s BCP pursues Mozamibique in latest case over $2 bln debt scandal
  • Nigeria security forces killed 18 people during lockdowns – rights panel
  • South Africa’s Absa to finance new coal projects only under ‘extenuating’ circumstances
  • eSwatini records first coronavirus death – health minister
  • World Bank gives Malawi $37 mln to help fight coronavirus
  • Mixed blessing for some, as South Africa shelters homeless in schools, stadiums
  • Africa FX – Kenya shilling seen under pressure next week
  • South Africa’s Vodacom sees 40% jump in data usage as people stay at home
  • Uganda shilling little changed, liquidity mop-up expected to offer support
  • Remittances from Egyptians working abroad rose to $5.2 bln in Jan and Feb –
  • Millions face hunger as African cities impose coronavirus lockdowns
  • South Africa court rules in favour of insurer Liberty in row with rival
  • Treatment of Africans in southern China sparks diplomatic backlash

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

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