macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 20 May

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

Global Markets

  • Stocks adrift as vaccine rally falters
  • Equity rally runs out of puff; MSCI AxJ -0.07%
  • AUD backs off multi-week high, gold and bonds up

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices ease on dim economic outlook despite signs of firmer demand
  • Brent down 0.3% at $34.54 a barrel (0031GMT)
  • WTI down 0.4% at $31.83

Precious metals

  • Gold gains as bleak economic outlook stokes safe-haven demand
  • Spot gold up 0.2% at $1,747.19/oz. (0256GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.4% at $1,753.30/oz.


  • Wheat eases on improved weather, corn falls after 3 days of gains
  • Wheat futures down 0.2% at $4.98 a bushel (0026GMT)
  • Soybeans up 0.1% at $8.43-1/4 a bushel
  • Corn down 0.4% at $3.20 a bushel

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

  • Burundi holds presidential election
  • Zambia decides interest rates [fcst. 11.5%, prev. 11.5%]
  • Lesotho swears in new prime minister
  • South Africa retail sales Feb-20 [fcst. 0.7% yy, prev. 1.2%]
  • South Africa’s central bank MPC meets; 19-21 May [fcst. 4.25%, prev. 4.25%]
  • 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 yesterday & early a.m today

  • Burundi heads to poll amidst health and violenc concerns
  • Eastern Libya forces say to move back from Tripoli fronts
  • Nigeria woos local firms to boost manufacturing as coronavirus disrupt imports
  • Egypt registers 720 new coronavirus cases in one day
  • South Africa to start phased school re-opening on June 1
  • Egypt says proposed standby funding from IMF aimed at helping businesses
  • South Africa defence firm Denel can’t pay May salaries
  • Ceasefire, diplomacy needed to end Libya crisis – UAE official
  • Africa Oil – Nigeria offers firm
  • UN envoy pushes for end to foreign fueling of Libya conflict
  • Wealthy countries failing Africa during pandemic, presidents say
  • South Africa rand firms on covid-19 vaccine hopes
  • Paris Club debt relief to pick up after G20 deal clarified – France
  • Southern Africa bloc backs Mozambique in fight against insurgents
  • South Africa publishes covid-19 mine safety rules
  • Rwanda genocide suspect Kabuga brought before French court
  • Lebanon says it will honour Algeria Sonatrach contract amid probe
  • Lafarge Africa halts capex and warns of second-quarter sales drop
  • South Africa Denel says can’t pay staff salaries in May
  • Egypt to provide $6 bln in loan guarantees to aid businesses
  • DR Congo police crackdown on sect killed 55 in “bloodbath” – Human Rights Watch
  • Namibia lifts foot-and-mouth disease restrictions
  • ‘Reasonable prospects’ South Africa’s Comair can be saved – administrators
  • Successful OPEC+ output deal fits a pattern: Kemp
  • Egypt extends suspension of international flights until further notice
  • Lesotho PM, named as suspect in murder case, bows to pressure to quit
  • Uganda shilling flat as covid-19 lockdown cuts importer demand
  • South Africa manufacturing output down 2.1% y/y in February
  • Zimbabweans in South Africa use app to send food home after border restrictions
  • Rwanda genocide fugitive Kabuga due before French court
  • Sovereign wealth funds fly to relative safety of US assets amid pandemic
  • South Africa BCG booster trials seek low cost weapon against covid-19
  • Kenya shilling firms against dollar, tight liquidity helps
  • Eastern Libya forces pull out of parts of Tripoli
  • Kenya herb farmers crushed by virus blow to exports

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

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