macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 18 May

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

Global Markets

  • Asia shares follow S&P 500 higher, oil and gold jump
  • Nikkei gains 0.6%, S&P 500 futures climb 1.1%
  • Brent jumps to 5-wk high on hopes for demand revival
  • Gold at 7-yr peak amid lake of liquidity, low rates

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices climb more than $1 ahead of WTI June contract expiry
  • June WTI contract hits 9-wk high before Tuesday’s expiry
  • No sign of repeat of price rout on eve of May contract expiry
  • Saudi-Kuwait to shut joint production field in June – media
  • Brent up 4.1% at $33.84 a barrel (0044GMT)
  • WTI up 4.8% at $30.83

Precious metals

  • Gold jumps to highest since Oct 2012 on US-China worries
  • Spot gold up 0.9% at $1,756.79/oz. (0043GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.5% at $1,765.70/oz.


  • Wheat extends losses as bumper global stocks weigh
  • Wheat futures down 0.2% at $4.99-1/2 a bushel (0154GMT)
  • Soybeans up 0.3% at $8.40-3/4 a bushel
  • Corn up 0.6% at $3.20-3/4 a bushel

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

  • Nigeria’s Buhari addresses nation on covid-19 measures
  • Nigeria inflation Apr-20 [fcst. 12.5% yy, prev. 12.3%]
  • Key African countries on lockdown or restricted; subdued economic activity
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • African countries get new tool to predict climate-related disasters
  • Nigeria impounds British plane for breaking coronavirus flight ban rules – aviation minister
  • Egypt tightens coronavirus restrictions for Eid holiday
  • ‘He wouldn’t say a word’ – Rwanda genocide fugitive lives incognito in Paris
  • Tanzania Magufuli plans to lift coronavirus restrictions
  • Sudan airports to remain closed until May 31
  • Sierra Leone police arrest five expatriate staff of SL Mining
  • Armed group kills 20 villagers in northeast Congo
  • Madagascar records its first covid-19 death – official
  • Suicide bombing in Somalia kills governor, three others in Puntland – police
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank puts talks to acquire Bank Audi’s Egypt business on hold – sources
  • Egypt to loan EgyptAir $127 mln to help it through coronavirus crisis
  • Libya – Shelling kills two at Tripoli displaced people shelter – emergency services
  • Impoverished Burundi, battered by violence and coronavirus, gears up for elections
  • Rwanda genocide suspect Kabuga arrested in France after decades on the run
  • South Africa’s Impala closes platinum mine due to coronavirus cases
  • Zimbabwe to ease coronavirus curbs, but lockdown to remain for now
  • Kenya closes borders to Tanzania and Somalia over coronavirus
  • Liberia’s largest palm oil project lays off 10% of workforce
  • Tanzania lowers 2020 growth projection amid coronavirus outbreak
  • Sudan annual inflation rises to 98.81% in April – stats agency
  • Private creditors push back against blanket debt relief for Africa
  • Namibia president cuts ministers’ perks in coronavirus fight
  • South Africa energy regulator allows Eskom to claw back $718 mln in tariffs
  • South Africa SAA has spent $539 mln since filing for bankruptcy protection – practitioners
  • Ethiopia Airlines sees Boeing 737 MAX compensation deal by end-June
  • South Africa TFG in talks on $134 mln loan, cuts capex forecast
  • South Africa rand weakens on coronavirus rebound fears
  • Africa Oil – IOC re-issues tender, Angola programme awaited
  • South Africa Airways administrators prefer structured wind-down to liquidating struggling airline
  • South Africa SAA has spent $539 mln since filing for bankruptcy protection – practitioners
  • Zimbabwe’s drought-hit Bulawayo limits tap water to just a day a week
  • Bank of Ghana holds key rate, surprises with bonds purchase
  • Kenya hip hop artist Juliani stages online concert to highlight coronavirus divide
  • Zambia reopens border with Tanzania to cargo after covid-19 closure
  • Court orders suspension of South Africa soldiers over death of man in lockdown
  • Ethiopia Airlines CEO expects settlement with Boeing by end-June
  • Style-conscious Africans turn compulsory masks into fashion accessories
  • Nigeria cutting oil output by nearly a quarter – minister
  • South Africa prepares to protect groundwater from coronavirus mass graves
  • Kenya shilling weakens as demand surges amid easing coronavirus lockdown
  • Ethiopia migrants recall nightmare when 64 died in a metal container
  • Nigeria mid-crop cocoa output seen weak as coronavirus disrupts exports
  • Kenya to sell 6-yr infrastructure bond this month – central bank
  • South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare maintains FY profit forecast
  • Uganda reserves will decline sharply without external help – IMF
  • Kenya central bank to hold rate-setting meeting on May 27

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

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