macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 1 May

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

Global Markets

  • Australia drops more than 3%, with major markets in Asia closed for holidays
  • Shares in Japan & Australia down Friday morning
  • China, Hong Kong, South Korea, India & Singapore closed

(Source: CNBC & Reuters)
Oil Markets

  • Oil prices surge again as US stockpiles grow less than feared, output cuts kick in
  • Brent up 4.2% at $27.58 a barrel (0013GMT)
  • WTI up 7.3% at $20.21

Precious metals

  • Gold gains on dismal US data, but on track for weekly loss
  • Spot gold up about 0.3% at $1,684.35/oz. (0038GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.1% at $1,691.90/oz.


  • Soybeans set for biggest weekly gain in 5 on strong China demand
  • Soybean futures gained 1.5% so far this week
  • Corn down 1.5% for the week
  • Wheat lost nearly 2% week thus far

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

  • Labour day; most Africa markets on holiday
  • South Africa eases covid-19 measures to “level 4”
  • Nigeria Bonny Light & Bonga crude oil loading programmes awaited; Forcados & Escravos released
  • South Africa ABSA manufacturing PMI Apr-20 [prev. 48.1]
  • Nigeria’s Buhari chief of staff pick awaited
  • 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

  • ‘Emergency’ for millions as coronavirus severs remittance lifeline
  • IMF approves $411 mln in coronavirus aid for Ethiopia
  • Algeria energy minister urges oil producers to comply with output cut deal
  • UAE calls on all Libya parties to commit to political process, renews support for Haftar
  • West Africa countries on alert for child labour spike due to coronavirus
  • Congo’s economy expected to contract due to coronavirus – central bank
  • 10 Egypt army members killed or wounded in a bomb attack – spokesman
  • South Africa fuel prices to drop sharply in May
  • South Africa coronavirus cases jump by 297
  • Egypt bank net foreign assets plunge in March
  • Africa Oil – Key Nigeria programmes yet to emerge
  • Zambia gets $145 mln from lenders for coronavirus fight
  • Virus-hit rich nations urged to keep climate-finance promises to poor
  • Morocco suspends foreign debt ceiling
  • South Africa rand weaker on rising coronavirus fears
  • South Africa economy to contract 5.8% this year
  • Namibia re-opens businesses, borders to remain close
  • Sudan makes FGM a crime in ‘new era’ for women’s rights
  • Libya GNA says it will keep fighting after LNA calls truce
  • Local investors cushion impact of South Africa bond index exit – for now
  • Nigeria could have to ‘replace’ $300 mln Abach loot if mis-used – US
  • Botswana cuts rates, banks’ capital rations in coronavirus response
  • OPEC April oil output surges to 13-mth high before new cut deal
  • South Africa tax revenue down $711 mln, to worsen once covid-19 relief measures commence
  • Unfazed by coronavirus, Egypt farmers harvest their wheat
  • South Africa willing to sell ‘poorly functioning’ state-owned firms – finmin
  • 7 killed in Sierra Leone prison riot on Wednesday
  • Africa FX – Nigeria naira to weaken while Kenya shilling seen on even keel
  • WHO says very concerned at community spread of coronavirus in West Africa
  • Kenya economy to rebound in 2021 – central bank gov
  • South Africa trade surplus widens in March
  • South Africa anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg, who spent 22 years in prison, dies aged 87
  • Kenya inflation at 5.62% y/y in April – stats office
  • South Africa MTN asks US court to dismiss anti-terrorism case in Afghanistan
  • Aerial footage shows miles-long queue for food aid in South Africa
  • Kenya shilling a notch weaker on demand from oil and merchandise importers
  • Nigeria funds switch to stocks, hoping for rebound as foreigners exit
  • Kenya – Nairobi salon defies pandemic with ‘coronavirus’ style
  • Nigeria tech experts step in to help those losing livelihoods under lockdown
  • Visa gives Kenya Safaricom ‘missing link’ for global payments
  • Egypt M2 money supply accelerates to 14.82% y/y in March
  • Eastern Libya forces pause operations after military setbacks
  • China Moly shrugs off South Africa port disruption as DRC cobalt sales rise
  • South Africa PPC names CFO, domestic April sales volumes seen 95% lower
  • Uganda shilling weakens as foreign firms exert demand to pay dividends
  • Kenya central bank has no target for shilling exchange rate – gov
  • Egypt to auction $800 mln in dollar-denominated t-bills
  • Kenya economy to grow by an estimated 6.4% in 2021 – central bank gov
  • South Africa Implats cuts output guidance & capex spend as coronavirus weighs
  • South Africa rand holds firmer on improved risk appetite
  • South Africa credit growth rises to 7.84% y/y in March

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

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