macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 19 May

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

Global Markets

  • Asia shares, oil rally on vaccine hopes, euro at 2-wk highs
  • MSCI ex-Japan jumps to highest since May 1
  • Euro hovers since 2-wk highs, yen weakens against dollar
  • Coronavirus vaccine trial success sparks rally
  • Oil jumps to highest in over 2 mths

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices lifted for 4th day by signs of output cuts and demand pick-up
  • June contract hits 9-wk high before Tuesday’s expiry
  • No sign of WTI plunge seen at previous month’s expiry
  • Brent up 2.4% at $35.66 a barrel (0033GMT)
  • WTI up 4.1% at $33.12

Precious metals

  • Gold rises slightly on US-China tensions, gloomy economic outlook
  • Spot gold up 0.2% at $1,735.04/oz. (0042GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.2% at $1,737.10/oz.


  • Soybeans rise as USDA report shows plantings below expectations
  • Soybean futures up 0.2% at $8.46-1/2 a bushel (0133GMT)
  • Corn up 0.1% at $3.21 a bushel
  • Wheat up 0.4% at $4.98-3/4 a bushel

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

  • Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa hosts 3-nation Mozambique security summit
  • South Africa’s central bank MPC meets; 19-21 May [fcst. 4.25%, prev. 4.25%]
  • South Africa mining production Feb-20 [fcst. 4.6% yy, prev. 7.5%]
  • South Africa manufacturing production Feb-20 [fcst. -5.3% yy, prev. -2.0%]
  • Nigeria inflation Apr-20 [fcst. 12.5% yy, prev. 12.3%]
  • WHO holds virtual 73rd World Health Assembly; 18-19 May
  • Malawi court-order presidential election rerun [rescheduled to 2 July]
  • Key African countries on lockdown or restricted; subdued economic activity
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Madagascar summons French ambassador in protest over natural reserve
  • South Sudan vice president, wife test positive for coronavirus
  • Sudan extends lockdown in Khartoum state by two weeks – SUNA
  • Congo says it won’t renew contract with passport maker Semlex
  • Somalia sees “massive” rise in FGM during lockdown and Ramadan
  • Libya forces aligned with Tripoli govt capture key air base
  • South Africa’s Growthpoint provides rent relief to nearly 1,500 small firms
  • Total calls off plan to buy Occidental Petroleum’s Ghana assets
  • Rwanda victim welcomes arrest of genocide suspect
  • Uganda detains prominent academic protesting coronavirus lockdown
  • Children of Rwanda genocide fugitive Kabuga led police to Paris-area hideout
  • South Africa rand rises on easing lockdown restrictions globaly, markets rally
  • Mali, Dominica first to get Paris Club debt relief under G20 deal
  • Africa Oil – Angola July exports set to be lower than in June
  • Nigeria to impose precision lockdown in coronavirus hotspots
  • OPEC+ cuts oil exports sharply so far in May – trackers
  • IMF chief says ratings worries dampen interest in G20 debt relief
  • Morocco extends coronavirus lockdown to June 10
  • South Africa retailer Steinhoff chair Heather Sonn steps down
  • Massmart’s sales hit by South Africa coronavirus lockdown
  • Morocco smugglers embark on long new route to ship drugs to Europe
  • Egypt pound slips to weakest in three months
  • Zimbabweans go hungry as coronavirus compounds climate woes
  • South Africa airports operator ACSA seeks state guarantees for $594 mln in new debt
  • Africa backs WHO, needs help with debt relief, supplies – Ramaphosa
  • Drought-hit Romania wheat crop should still meet Egypt tenders
  • Live music lifts spirits in Burkina Faso’s coronavirus curfew
  • Uganda shilling steady as flat appetite lends support
  • Kenya shilling strengthens against the dollar
  • Libya forces aligned with Tripoli govt claim key air base
  • Moody’s says South Africa loan guarantee scheme will aid financial stability
  • Tullow says Kenya force majeure allows time to resolve tax issue
  • Senegal online food company sees sales double due to epidemic
  • Zimbabwe tenders for 500MW solar power plants in renewable energy drive
  • Africa countries get new tool to predict climate-related disasters

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

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