#Africa #Markets | 18 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global markets

  • Asian shares rise amid US tax cut hopes; pound struggles
  • MSCI ex-Japan rises 0.1 pct after adding 0.8 pct last week
  • Australian shares up 0.1 pct, Japan’s Nikkei climbs 0.8 pct
  • Votes on US tax legislation expected this week

Oil markets

  • Oil markets little changed on lack of price drivers
  • US WTI crude futures at $57.33 (0105GMT), up 3 cents from their last settlement

Precious metals

  • Gold prices edge down amid firmer dollar, equities
  • Spot gold was down 0.1 pct at $1,254.16 an ounce (0059GMT)
  • US gold futures were little changed at $1,257 an ounce

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

  • South Africa’s ruling ANC party to announce new leadership [#ANC54]
  • Uganda interest rate decision [fcst. 9.0%, prev. 9.5%]
  • Botswana interest rate decision [fcst. 5.0%, prev. 5.0%]

Key African events or data releases over the weekend
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South Africa’s ANC votes to elect leader to replace scandal-ridden Zuma
  • Four dead in ambush of World Food Programme convoy in Nigeria
  • East Libya commander Haftar says UN-backed govt obsolete, hints may run in elections
  • South Africa’s rand firms more than 2 pct on ANC leadership contest
  • South Africa Ramaphosa, Dlamini-Zuma formally nominated to run for president of ANC
  • Average yields fall on Egypt’s 3- and 9- month T-bills
  • Egypt seeks proposals for dollar bond issues – banking sources
  • Initial Zohr output raises Egypt’s natural gas production to 5.5 bln cubic feet daily – minister
  • South Africa’s Zuma calls for party unity as ANC meets to elect new leader
  • South Africa’s Zuma says influence-peddling in his government to be investigated
  • Nigeria oil union calls for strike from Monday after talks hit deadlock
  • Egypt’s Zohr gas field to start production at 350 mln cubic feet/day
  • South Africa’s ANC says party officials barred by courts will not vote at conference
  • South Africa to take tough decisions to grow economy – Gigaba
  • South Africa to increase spending on higher education
  • S&P says Republic of Senegal ‘B+/B’ ratings affirmed
  • Ebola victims sue Sierra Leone govt over mismanaged funds
  • Forgetful ministers keep Mugabe’s name alive at Zimbabwe congress
  • Zimbabwe’s ruling party must fix economy to win vote – president
  • Vale workers in Mozambique down tools at Moatize mine over bonus pay
  • Malawi’s November inflation slows to 7.7 pct y/y – official data
  • Ethiopia ex-official gets Dutch life sentence for war crimes
  • Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa says land reforms irreversible
  • Nigeria tariff causes car imports to fall, fuels smuggling – ports authority
  • South Sudan’s Kiir promotes three generals facing UN sanctions
  • Russia signs aviation safety agreement with Egypt in move to resume flights
  • Zimbabwe’s ruling party endorses Mnangagwa as leader after Mugabe downfall
  • For $6 a month, child trafficking nearly halted in Benin hotspot
  • South Africa’s Steinhoff ex-chairman Wiese calls off $2.6 bln Shoprite deal
  • Nigeria’s Oando issues official statement on SEC forensic audit commencement
  • South Africa regulator allows Eskom to raise tariffs by 5 pct in 2018/19
  • Zimbabwe’s inflation rises to 2.97 pct y/y in November
  • South Africa regulator probes conduct of Steinhoff auditors
  • South Africa’s Eskom “disappointed” by 5 pct electricity tariff increase
  • Out of US sanctions, Sudan tries to lure back investors
  • Nigeria T-bills extend rally as sell-off, new issues weigh
  • Air traffic controllers strike at new Senegal airport, want more training
  • Congo child soldiers awarded $10 mln compensation in landmark ruling
  • Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa says elections must be credible, free and fair
  • South Africa’s 3-month T-bill average yield rises to 7.75 pct
  • Mauritius 91-day Treasury bill yield rises to 2.43 pct
  • Rwanda’s GDP growth rises to 8 pct y/y in Q3
  • Middle-class Egypt adapts to survive as austerity bites
  • Somalia’s budget meets IMF terms, official says
  • Botswana’s inflation cools to 2.9 pct y/y in November
  • South Africa Steinhoff African unit to repay $1.2 bln loan to troubled parent
  • South Africa Steinhoff says Christo Wiese resigns as chairman of supervisory board

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

#Global #Markets | 18 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

17 Dec
2350GMT   Japan Trade balance (Nov-17) (act. JPY113B, est. JPY-55B, prev. JPY285B)

18 Dec
0130GMT   China House price index (Nov-17) (act. 5.1% yy, prev. 5.4%)
0430GMT   Japan All industry activity index (Oct-17) (est. 0.4% mm, prev. -0.5%)
1000GMT   Euro Area Inflation rate (final) (Nov-17) (est. 1.5% yy, prev. 1.4%)
1100GMT   UK CBI Industrial trends orders (Dec-17) (est. 14, prev. 17)
1500GMT   US NAHB Housing market index (Dec-17) (est. 70, prev. 70)

N.B

  • Uganda interest rate decision [fcst. 9.0%, prev. 9.5%]
  • Botswana interest rate decision [fcst. 5.0%, prev. 5.0%]

macroafricaintel Weekly | 18 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Click here for PDF version

Date Data / Event Period Forecast Previous
18 Dec Uganda Policy Rate, % 9.0 9.5
18 Dec Botswana Policy Rate, % 5.0 5.0
South Africa M3, % yy Nov 2017 6.0 5.0
South Africa PSCE, % yy Nov 2017 5.5 5.4
Nigeria CPI, % yy (mm) Nov 2017 15.8 (0.7) 15.9 (0.8)

*Uganda MPC view changed; now expect a rate cut.

macroafricaintel | South Africa: A race of three

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Just days to the elective conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party on 16 December, Jacob Zuma, the South African president suffered a slight setback. That is an understatement, actually. A Pretoria High Court ruled he should implement the recommendations of the Public Protector (PP), the South African anti-corruption watchdog; who had asked him to set up an inquiry into what is now widely referred to as “State Capture.” In its simplest form, it means corruption. A wider interpretation would be to refer to it as the use of state resources by private elements for private gain with the active collaboration of public officials. Many revelations suggest President Zuma could be culpable of state capture. Naturally, Mr Zuma had wanted the court to tell him if the PP’s directives were binding on him. It was a time-wasting gimmick. And the court told him so punitively. Just before, he got some reprieve from the chief prosecutor, Shaun Abrahams – widely believed to be a Zuma loyalist – who gave him until the end of January next year to make representations as to why almost 800 previously dropped corruption charges should not now be instituted against him; after a court ruled sometime ago it was wrong to have dropped them in the first place. Incidentally, the judge who ruled the PP’s directives were binding on Mr Zuma also nullified his appointment of Mr Abrahams as chief prosecutor. Furthermore, the court ruled he could not appoint his replacement because he was clearly conflicted. That task it assigned to his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, the leading candidate to replace him as ANC president. Although Mr Zuma’s tenure as South Africa’s president would not expire until 2019, he could be recalled by the ANC if someone not favourably disposed to him wins the party’s presidency. With the only shield Mr Zuma would have thereafter being that offered by his position as president of The Republic, there is no gainsaying how highly motivated he must be to ensure that the person that emerges as the ANC president this weekend is someone that would protect him from what are clearly imminent troubles. Only one candidate can do this: former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, his ex-wife. And even though ahead of the conference, Mr Ramaphosa is leading with nominations from the party branches, it is not definite. What matters more are the number of delegates he has in his pocket. And that is where Mr Zuma has an advantage. Oops! I meant Ms Dlamini-Zuma. Well, maybe I meant both of them. Mr Ramaphosa is nominally in battle with Ms Dlamini-Zuma but effectively at war with Mr Zuma.

Fight to finish
Despite being embattled, Mr Zuma still has the power to dish out patronage. Mr Ramaphosa is rich too. But Mr Zuma can offer much more than money. He can offer positions, contracts, and so on. It is not impossible that more cadres might decide it best to pitch their tents with the person that everyone seems to want to succeed Mr Zuma. Market participants want Mr Ramaphosa to win, at least. One actually estimated as much as US$10 billion in capital flight in the aftermath of an almost certain rating downgrade to junk status by Moody’s if Ms Dlamini-Zuma wins instead. Respected former finance minister Pravin Gordhan went as far as boasting that the economy could turn around in months if Mr Ramaphosa is elected. This is an exaggeration, of course. Mr Ramaphosa is no magician. (But it speaks to the enthusiasm around his candidacy.) The problems bedevilling South Africa would require very tough structural reforms. They tend to take time to bear fruit. And any president willing to embark on them would need to have not only strong political capital and will, but must also be willing to suffer the fate of probably not lasting long in office. Of all the candidates, Mr Ramaphosa is perhaps the only one that comes closest to being qualified to do the needed right things. Take labour reforms. It would be a very brave ANC president that takes on unions that form the bedrock of the party’s support base. COSATU, the umbrella labour union body, is a member of the tripartite alliance that ensures ANC is able to retain power. Were the ANC to lose their support because of what are germane but likely unpopular labour reforms, it may not be in power long enough to see them through. But if there is anyone with the skill and experience to do the task, it is Mr Ramaphosa. A former labour leader himself, Mr Ramaphosa is credited with helping former president and father of the nation, Nelson Mandela, with negotitations to end the apartheid regime. And it is widely known that when Mr Mandela was in a jam during what were very tasking talks, Mr Ramaphosa, when called upon, as he often was, was able to help make some headway. But Mr Ramaphosa is not without troubles of his own. He is tainted by the Marikana massacre, which resulted in the deaths of many protesting miners. And Mr Zuma has reportedly not relented in his efforts to ensure Mr Ramaphosa does not prevail. Lately, what came out was that Mr Zuma might be looking to invoke a state of emergency. Like always, his office came out vociferously with a denial. If past events are a barometer of Mr Zuma’s schemings, it is not totally out of the question that he is still contemplating this. Should Mr Ramaphosa win, Mr Zuma would need to move quickly to ensure the party is not able to recall him. Such is the risk of something unusual happening that market participants are already beginning to derisk themselves of South African exposure as a precaution. For the sake of dear South Africans, may the best candidate win.

#Africa #Markets | 15 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global markets

  • Asian shares edge up, on track for weekly gain
  • Wall Street slumps on concerns about US tax reform bill
  • Nikkei skids, as yen strengthens
  • US crude futures extend overnight gains

Oil markets

  • Oil stable on tighter market
  • Rising US output looms for 2018
  • OPEC-led supply cuts, Forties pipeline outage support crude
  • Rising US output, driven by shale, weighs on market

Precious metals

  • Gold steady amid subdued dollar, poised for weekly gain
  • Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,253.20 an ounce (0054GMT), after dipping 0.2 pct in the previous session
  • US gold futures edged down 0.1 pct at $1,255.70

Key African events or data releases today & over the weekend
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa to address ruling ZANU-PF party extraordinary congress today (15 Dec), to be endorsed as presidential candidate for 2018 elections
  • South Africa’s ANC elective conference starts tomorrow (16 Dec)

Key African events or data releases yesterday
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Morocco should step up structural reforms – IMF
  • Giant rats increase their attack on tuberculosis in Tanzania
  • South Africa’s PPC resigned to remaining single
  • World Bank invests $4.5 bln to arm cities against climate change
  • Coffee extends rebound from multi-month lows
  • South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater to be No.2 platinum miner with Lonmin buy
  • South Africa’s Steinhoff says Christo Wiese steps down as chairman
  • Kenya president’s election campaign used firm hired by Trump – privacy group
  • Lonmin labour union considers taking action to fight Sibanye takeover
  • Ivory Coast awards Tullow two new onshore oil blocks
  • Yields on Kenya’s 15-yr, 10-yr Treasury bonds up at latest sale – cenbank
  • Yields on Kenya’s 182-day and 364-day T-bills rise, 91-day T-bills at auction
  • Nigeria to release $1 bln from excess oil account to fight Boko Haram
  • Sudan’s oil supply threatened due to dollar shortage
  • Fitch places First Bank of Nigeria’s subordinated notes on rating watch positive on exposure draft
  • Tunisia ready for “decisive action” on economy, IMF says
  • Retention of jobs critical following Sibanye-Lonmin deal – mines minister
  • South Africa’s PPC not looking to sell assets or merge anymore – chairman
  • ECB willing to learn lessons from South Africa’s Steinhoff buys, says Draghi
  • Nigeria to issue $29 mln debut green bond next week
  • Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa calls for end to Western sanctions
  • Standard Bank appoints Lungiza Fuzile as CEO of South Africa unit
  • Broke South Sudan hike fees, blocks aid despite appeal for cash
  • Sudan inflation drops to 24.76 pct in November
  • Cameroon’s Anglophones flee to Nigeria as crackdown grows
  • Saudi-backed military alliance to help G5 Sahel fight
  • Zambia sees 2017 copper output rising to 850,000 tonnes
  • Zimbabwe’s former finance minister faces new corruption charges
  • Angola Lourenco’s offers ultimatum for repatriation of funds
  • Kenya police assaulted and raped women during election – rights group
  • Nigeria repays $1.1 bln worth of T-bills; overnight rates fall
  • South Africa’s November producer inflation steady at 5.1 pct yr/yr
  • South Africa’s current account deficit narrows to 2.3 pct of GDP, FDI and trade surplus climb
  • Zimbabwe’s ex-leader Mugabe visits Singapore hospital – sources
  • Nambia economic recession deepens in third quarter, contracts 1.9 pct
  • Namibia inflation unchanged at 5.2 pct yr/yr in November
  • Egypt minister set to sign deal to resume Russia flights
  • South Africa’s Zuma appeals court ruling on state prosecutors’s appointment
  • Egypt’s agriculture ministry updates policy to end ergot confusion 

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

#Global #Markets | 15 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

1000GMT   Euro Area Trade balance (Oct-17) (est. €24.6B, prev. €26.4B)
1130GMT   India FX reserves (8 Dec) (prev. $401.9B)
1205GMT   India Trade balance (Nov-17) (est. $13.8B, prev. $-14.0B)
1330GMT   US NY Empire State manufacturing index (Dec-17) (est. 18.6, prev. 19.4)
1415GMT   US Industrial production (Nov-17) (est. 0.3% mm, prev. 0.9%)
1800GMT   US Baker Hughes oil rig count (Dec-17) (prev. 751)
2100GMT   US Net long-term Tic flows (Oct-17) (prev. $80.9B)
2100GMT   US Overall net capital flows (Oct-17) (prev. $-51.3B)
2100GMT   US Foreign bond investment (Oct-17) (est. $-4.3B, prev. $12.7B)

N.B
UK BoE Quarterly bulletin (1200GMT)
ECB Draghi speech during the day

#Africa #Markets | 14 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global markets

  • Asia stocks edge higher after Fed meeting
  • US dollar, yields sag
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 0.45 pct
  • Fed hike rates but sounds caution over low inflation
  • China hikes interest rates, overall impact limited

Oil markets

  • Oil rises on lower US crude stocks
  • But growing output caps gains
  • US crude stocks down for 4th straight week
  • US production rises close to 10 mln bpd

Precious metals

  • Gold edges up as dollar holds steady
  • Spot gold was up 0.15 pct at $1,257.11 an ounce (0123GMT), after rising nearly 1 pct in the previous session
  • US gold futures were up nearly 1 pct at $1,260.60

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

  • 0800GMT   South Africa Current Account (Q3-17) (prev. -2.4% of GDP) [fcst: -2.5%]
  • 0930GMT   South Africa PPI (Nov-17) (est. 5.0% yy, prev. 5.0%) [fcst: 5.2%]

 
Key African events or data releases yesterday
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Steinhoff to restate 2016 financial results
  • US sanctions 2 Africans over ivory, weapons trade
  • Arabic coffee claws up from 7-session drop, NY cocoa rebounds
  • LafargeHolcim ends talks with South Africa’s PPC
  • Congo fighters jailed for life for child rape ceremonies – rights groups
  • 400,000 children risk starvation in volatile Congo as aid dries up
  • Zimbabwe orders illegal settlers to vacate farms
  • Investors concerned about Nigeria controls, but have not given up – IMF
  • Supporters of Egypt presidential hopeful arrested, say security sources, family
  • Nigeria NGOs slam civil society bill as grave threats to freedoms
  • Nigeria’s one-year T-bil yield rises more after Tuesday’s dive
  • Algeria’s ruling caste set on orderly succession, when the time comes
  • Burundi expects econ growth, spending to pick up in 2018
  • Zimbabweans wait to see whether Mnangagwa’s VPs will add new blood
  • Eni completes sale of 25 pct stake in Mozambique gas project to Exxon
  • In another blow to Zuma, South African top court orders influence-peddling inquiry
  • South African state fund wants a part in Steinhoff’s accounting scandal probe
  • Algeria’s Sonatrach plans closer ties with Total on energy projects
  • Tanzania’s Magufuli orders tighter FX controls, bank crackdown as growth slows
  • Zimbabwe seizes 200kg of ivory destined for Malaysia
  • Mauritius cenbank forecasts 2017 c/a deficit of 5.1 pct of GDP
  • Nigeria’s 1-year T-bill yield rises as foreign funds exit
  • Mozambique president replaces energy and foreign ministers
  • South African court upholds watchdog recommendation to set up inquiry on influence-peddling
  • South Africa’s retail sales rise 3.2 pct year/year in October
  • South Sudan needs $1.7 bln humanitarian aid in 2018
  • Botswana exchange lists IFC local currency bond
  • IMF urges Tanzania to reform and spend to stem economic slowdown
  • South Africa court orders Zuma to pay costs for challenging watchdog
  • South Africa’s CPI slows to 4.6 pct year/year in November
  • EU pushes to curb Africa migration more, still split on hosting refugees

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