macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 11 Oct

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares up as “very good” trade talks boost risk appetite
  • MSCI Asia ex-Japan +1.2%; Nikkei +1%
  • Oil rises on OPEC head comments, trade deal hopes
  • Trump says US-China negotiations “very, very good”

Oil Markets

  • Oil extends gains on prospect of deeper OPEC output cuts, trade talks hopes
  • Brent up 0.4% at $59.34 a barrel (0034GMT)
  • WTI up 0.4% at $53.74

Precious metals

  • Gold steadies as investors await concrete signals on trade, Brexit
  • Palladium holds near all-time peak
  • Technical resistance for gold around $1,520/oz. – analyst
  • Gold eyes small weekly decline
  • Spot gold up 0.2% at $1,496.49/oz.
  • US gold futures little changed at $1,501/oz.

Grains

  • Corn rebounds from 10-day low, set for first weekly loss in five
  • Wheat futures unchanged at $4.93 per bushel
  • Corn futures up 0.6% at $3.82-1/2 per bushel
  • Soy futures up 0.7% at $9.29-1/2 per bushel
  • Rice futures down 0.2% at $12.02 per hundredweight

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

  • Africa oil & power conference in Cape Town, South Africa; 9-11 Oct

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

  • Egypt discovers archaeological industrial zone in Luxor’s ‘Valley of the Monkeys’
  • Nigeria seeks $62 bln from oil companies – attorney general
  • Ivory Coast, Ghana to ‘re-examine’ cocoa industry’s sustainability schemes
  • Africa Oil – Spot trade grinds to a halt as freight rates skyrocket
  • Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation falls to 4.8% in Sept as reforms bite
  • Vedanta to shut down Skorpion zinc operations Namibia for 4 months
  • South African rand stronger as dollar dips, stocks up
  • Egypt’s core inflation at 2.6% in Sept from 4.9% in August – c.bank
  • Sudan appoints first female judiciary head to fight corruption
  • Ethiopia’s peacemaking prime minister emerges as a Nobel favourite
  • US Treasury sanctions Gupta family, associate for South Africa graft
  • Zambia says owes major mining firms $215 mln in tax refunds
  • International donors pledge $14 bln to tackle AIDS – Macron
  • Africa FX – Ugandan shilling seen weakening after rate cut
  • Congo’s ebola outbreak slows but still entrenched in insecure areas – WHO
  • South African cement group PPC’s CFO Ramano to step down
  • Congo Republic president’s adviser awarded oil licenses at heart of Eni probe
  • Asia Rice – African demand boosts Vietnam rates, India prices dip to 4-mth low
  • Egypt eyes minority stake sales of state firms by end-Dec but doubts persist
  • Equatorial Guinea says currency caps will hurt Gulf of Guinea energy prospects
  • Royal Air Maroc suspends deal for 2 more Boeing 737 MAX planes – source
  • South Africa’s manufacturing down 1.8% y/y in August
  • Nigeria plans to team up with Cameroon to agree cocoa premium
  • S&P Global says no immediate pressure on South Africa rating
  • Rwanda launches first ‘Made in Africa’ smartphones

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

macroafricaintel | Mokyr’s A Culture of Growth: A review in the African context (2)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Convention is fluid
Remember when if you wore sneakers with a traditional attire, you would likely be thought a misfit? But today, it is consider quite cool, isn’t it? All it took was a few celebrities to wear the abnormal combination. This second example would resonate with Muslims. Some Muslims wear trousers that stop just before the ankle as a religious practice. It wasn’t considered a ‘cool’ thing to do. Have you noticed, however, that supposedly ‘cool’ suits nowadays come with trousers that stop just before the ankle? Celebrities are cultural entrepreneurs. They are cultural change agents. It is not always the case that they seek to change culture deliberately. For some, it is precisely their bold actions that throw them into the limelight. Others simply rode on popular culture and acquired fame in the process and thereafter are able to introduce new trends of their own. It is also the case that through them, people can be dissuaded from negative cultural practices.

“What is it precisely that cultural entrepreneurs do? Mokyr posits “they are persons who become sufficiently influential to change the cultural menus of enough people and who persuade many of them to adopt the cultural variants they are proposing.” To be sure, not all cultural entrepreneurs succeed. Those who do are “individuals who successfully contested and overthrew existing authorities in a specific area of culture and created a competing variant”. Two hugely successful cultural entrepeneurs of their time are Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon, whose legacies endure to this day. More relatively recent examples are prominent economist John Maynard Keynes and American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

If these examples do not resonate with you, maybe this would: an Oprah Winfrey qualifies as one. Put simply: “influential individuals affect the beliefs and preferences of others”. They are probably also the most effective channel through which culture can be changed today. Who are our celebrities? Are the beliefs they espouse progressive or retrogressive? Are the contents of our arts ones that spur innovation and new thinking or the entrenchment of old beliefs? Institutions can be created or remodeled to tune our cultural output towards progressive goals. For instance, what are the criteria by which our censor boards approve art, movies, music, etc.?

A warning. Cultural entrepreneurship is a hugely risk affair. In Europe, Mokyr recounts, “new people challenged the conventional wisdom in every area of knowledge and thought. To be sure, a variety of conservative bodies made serious attempts to suppress innovators and some of the most innovative cultural entrepreneurs paid with their lives.” But while during the European Enlightenment, “fragmentation, footlooseness, and the proliferation of printing presses meant that it became increasingly difficult for politically powerful incumbents to suppress subversive and heretic new beliefs generated by cultural entrepeneurs,” with the internet and technology, it is much easier today to be one with not as much risk or effort.

Modern man vs traditional man
I digress from Mokyr (2016) a little bit. Who is a modern man? And how does he defer from the traditional man. To the ignorant, the instinctive definition veers towards the ethnic, tribalistic or racist. It is no such thing. Geert Hofstede’s (2001) Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations quotes now late Harry Triandis’ (1971) Some psychological dimensions of modernization, a paper he presented at the 17th Congress of Applied Psychology in Liege, Belgium on the differences between the two as follows:

A modern man “is open to new experiences; relatively independent of parental authority; concerned with time, planning, willing to defer gratification; he feels that man can be master over nature, and that he controls the reinforcements he receives from his environment; he believes in determinism and science; he has a wide, cosmopolitan perspective, he uses broad in-groups; he competes with standards of excellence, and he is optimistic about controlling his environment.”

The traditional man, however,has narrow in-groups, looks at the world with suspicion, believes that good is limited and one obtains a share of it by chance or pleasing the gods; he identifies with his parents and receives direction from them; he considers planning a waste of time, and does not defer gratification; he feels at the mercy of obscure environmental factors, and is prone to mysticism; he sees interpersonal relations as an end, rarely as means to an end; he does not believe that he can control his environment but rather sees himself under the influence of external, mystical powers.”

Modernise your philosophy of life
Being a modern man does not require that you give up your religion or your traditions. Instead, it is underpinned by the philosophy that there is a rational explanation for everything. In applying this ethos, you approach problems objectively, seek new and better solutions, and continually seek to improve your lot. The traditional man, however, seeks irrational and mystical explanations, and procures the services of its dubious practitioners when in doubt. The outcome is very well what underpins our problems as a country. Whether it is perennial traffic in a busy Nigerian city, power failure on end, lack of reliable potable water supply, and so on, the “traditional man” outlook of most of our compatriots is why we live relatively miserable lives. So, my questions to you are thus: Which of a modern or traditional man as described above is better? And which one are you? Become better. Better still, become best.

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 10 Oct

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Stocks recover but anxiety over trade talks lingers
  • S&P 500 futures almost flat after 1.3% fall earlier
  • NYT says Trump to concede on Huawei
  • China’s Liu to cut short his visit to Washington – SCMP
  • Sterling dogged by Brexit worries, Turkish lira slumps

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices fall as hopes for US-China trade progress wilt
  • Brent, WTI futures down 0.2%
  • High-level talks begin on Thur, no progress seen in early contact
  • US weekly crude stocks rise by 2.9 mln bbls last week – EIA
  • Brent down 0.2% at $58.21 a barrel (0354GMT)
  • WTI down 0.2% at $52.48

Precious metals

  • Gold at 1-wk high as trade talk hopes fade
  • Spot gold rose 0.4% at $1,511.24/oz. (0049GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.3% at $1,516.50

Grains

  • Soybeans ease from 3-mth top, Chinese buying limits losses
  • Wheat futures up 0.1% at $5.00-3/4 per bushel (0052GMT)
  • Corn futures down 0.3% at $3.93-1/4 per bushel
  • Soy futures down 0.2% at $9.21-1/2 per bushel
  • Rice futures nearly unchanged at $12.0 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa manufacturing production Aug-19 [fcst. -0.8% yy, prev. -1.1%]
  • South Africa mining production Aug-19 [fcst. 1.9% yy, prev. 2.4%]
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa to answer questions in NCOP
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues

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

  • Spies hacked Moroccan activists amid crackdown on protests – researchers
  • World Bank sees Egypt economy growing 5.8% in 2019/20
  • Libya’s Ras Lanuf polyethylene plant resumes production
  • Tunisia’s moderate Islamist party Ennahda to lead fractured new parliament
  • Libya state oil firm pays salaries for eastern unit with parallel board
  • Egypt, Iraq discuss Syria after Turkish offensive – Egypt state TV
  • Ennahda came first in Tunisia parliamentary election
  • Ethiopia’s peacemaking prime minister emerges as a Nobel favourite
  • Tunisia presidential candidate freed days before election
  • Morocco reshuffles cabinet, keeps foreign & finance ministers
  • Africa Oil – Bonny Light force majeure lifted, Angolan oil discounted
  • Somalia auditor general slams govt finances
  • Senegal pushes oil licensing round back
  • South African rand firms on improved sentiment, stocks down
  • Egypt calls emergency Arab meeting over Turkish offensive into Syria – ministry
  • IMF sees higher Nigeria inflation in 2020 on minimum wage, tax rises
  • Egypt denounces Ethiopia for moving ahead with Nile dam amid water shortage fears
  • Inflation-hit Zimbabwe public workers seek US dollar-indexed pay
  • South Sudan to launch auction of licences for 8 oil fields
  • Egypt dollar bonds fall in anticipation of new supply
  • Nigeria lands higher oil output target in OPEC+ cut deal
  • World Bank cuts Sub-Saharan Africa’s 2019, 2020 growth forecast
  • Shell lifts force majeure on Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude
  • Senegal delays oil licensing round by a month
  • Zimbabwe quadruples electricity prices, pummelling impoverished consumers
  • Angola seeks to reduce gas flaring to capture revenue
  • South Africa’s Sept business confidence recovers from 34-yr low – SACCI
  • South Sudan sees oil production reaching 200k barrels per day by 2021
  • Kenya shilling strengthens against the dollar
  • Zambia’s KCM smelter shut down earlier than planned after leak – liquidator
  • South Africa’s rand pauses slide as risk clouds gather
  • Zimnbabwe hikes average electricity tariff by 320% – energy regulator

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 9 Oct

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks swoon on signs of prolonged US-China standoff
  • Stocks rattled by growing US-China tension
  • Fed’s Powell signals more debt purchases
  • Hopes fade for end to US-Sino trade war
  • Oil prices fall due to weakening demand outlook

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices extend slide to 3rd straight day, US-China trade doubts grow
  • Brent, WTI futures fall 0.5%
  • US crude stocks rise more than expected – API
  • Brent down 0.5% at $57.97 a barrel (0148GMT)
  • WTI down 0.5% at $52.38

Precious metals

  • Gold firms as US-China trade dispute worsens ahead of talks
  • Spot gold up 0.1% at $1,505.95/oz. (0027GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.5% at $1,511.40/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans fall, retreat from near 3-mth high
  • Wheat futures up about 0.1% at $5.00-1/2 per bushel (0010GMT)
  • Corn futures up 0.1% at $3.96 per bushel
  • Soy futures down 0.1% at $9.19-1/4 per bushel
  • Rice futures up 0.5% at $11.90 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa to chair inaugural presidential economic advisory council
  • South Africa SACCI business confidence Sep-19 [prev. 89.1]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues

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

  • Ethiopian police teargas protesters in Amhara – local party official
  • UK court allows Nigeria’s $875 mln case against JP Morgan to proceed
  • Swedish hospital sounds all clear after testing patient for ebola
  • Ethiopian Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Dakar, no casaulties
  • Sudan has received half the $3 bln promised by Saudi Arabia & UAE
  • Cyprus, Greece, Egypt call on Turkey to end ‘provocative’ actions
  • Africa Oil – Angolan, Nigerian differentials continue to ebb
  • Nigerian president offers record $34 bln budget for 2020
  • EU wheat firm along with US markets, Egypt tender disappoints
  • Libyan oil firm unable to pay salaries at eastern unit with parallel board
  • South Africa’s rand, stocks fall as riks sentiment wanes
  • Sierra Leone cancels mining licence of Gerald Group unit
  • Ethiopia says Egypt trying to maintain “colonial era” grip over Nile
  • Nigeria’s President Buhari presents 10.33 tln naira 2020 budget to parliament
  • Botswana forecasts slower GDP growth, wider deficit this year
  • Exxon to make $500 mln initial investment in Mozambique LNG project
  • End of statelessness in sight for Shona as Kenya issues birth certificates
  • Uganda’s shilling biased on weaker side as rate cut triggers pressure
  • Kenya shilling firms against the dollar
  • Botswana’s economy to grow 4.3% in 2019 – deputy finance sec.
  • South Africa’s rand firmer as 15/$ mark lures in bulls

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

#Africa #Markets | 8 Oct

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • China joins Asian shares in cautious advance ahead of trade talks
  • Investors nervous ahead of US-China trade talks
  • China shares, yuan up a tad after week-long holiday
  • Turkish lira drops to 1-mth low on tension over Syria

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises, buoyed by gains in industrial commodities
  • Death toll mounts in Iraq after a week of unrest
  • Ecuador may cut output by 59,450 bpd on protests – ministry
  • US crude stockpiles may rise for 4th week – poll
  • Brent up 0.7% at $58.74 a barrel (0102GMT)
  • WTI up 0.7% at $53.10

Precious metals

  • Gold dips as dollar holds strong ahead of Sino-US trade talks
  • Gold set for third straight decline
  • Spot gold down 0.2% at $1,491.05/oz. (0444GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.5% at $1,496.40/oz.

Grains

  • Corn extends gains into second session on USDA harvest report
  • Wheat futures up 0.1% at $4.89-3/4 per bushel (0023GMT)
  • Corn futures up 0.3% at $3.88-1/4 per bushel
  • Soy futures up 0.2% at $9.16-1/4 per bushel
  • Rice futures down 0.1% at $11.63 per hundredweight

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

  • Nigeria’s Buhari to deliver 2020 budget speech
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues

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

  • Mali sees cotton output at 1 mln T, urges action on subsidies
  • Ivory Coast creditors of SAC-Cacao praise clean-up by buyer SACC
  • South African rand weakens as focus shifts to China-US trade talks
  • South Africa’s Tongaat postpones full-year results, mulls measures to cut debt
  • Africa Oil – Buyers wary as high freight rates weigh
  • South Africa’s Impala to buy North American Palladium for about $750 mln
  • Rwanda launches first ‘Made in Africa’ smartphones
  • South Africa – “Everything was cool”: Zuma son denies wrongdoing at graft inquiry
  • South Africa’s Tongaat mulls sale of assets, rights issue
  • Uganda Airlines receives two Bombardier passenger planes
  • Zimbabwe economy seen contracting up to 6% in 2019 – treasury document
  • Zimbabwe doctors defy govt ultimatum to end strike
  • Egypt studies plan to cut stock exchange fees
  • Ivory Coast cocoa arrivals rise to 35,000 T by Oct. 6 – exporters
  • Egypt stocks gain on talks for IMF assistance
  • Mali says cotton output to reach 1 mln tonnes, eyes new varieties
  • Uganda central bank cuts main lending rate to 9.0%
  • Uganda shilling a touch weaker after central bank cuts key rate
  • Tunisia election gives few clues to shape of next govt
  • Kenya struggles to cope with growing number of heroin users
  • South Africa’s net foreign reserves fall to $44.058 bln in September
  • OPEC’s Barkindo says too early to discuss deeper output cuts – TASS
  • Australia’s Fortescue confirms bid to develop Guinea iron ore
  • Rwanda kills 19 assailants after deadly national park attack

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

#Africa #Markets | 7 Oct

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares up on US jobs report, but caution seen on trade talks
  • Fall in US jobless rate pushes stocks higher
  • Unrest in Hong Kong could weigh on market sentiment
  • Investors are cautious before US-China trade talks

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices slip again amid gathering gloom over global economy
  • Brent, WTI benchmarks fell more than 5% last week
  • Middle East tensions linger, deadly clashes in Iraqi unrest
  • Brent down 24 cents at $58.13 a barrel (0147GMT)
  • WTI down 12 cents at $52.69

Precious metals

  • Gold rise ahead of US-China trade negotiations
  • Spot gold up 0.3% at $1,508.23/oz. (0101GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.1% at $1,513.90/oz.

Grains

  • US, wheat, corn and soybeans rise ahead of USDA report release
  • Wheat futures up 0.6% at $4.93 per bushel (0022GMT)
  • Soybean futures up 0.4% at $9.20 per bushel
  • Corn futures up 0.7% at $3.87-1/4 per bushel

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

  • Nigeria’s Buhari to deliver budget speech on Tuesday
  • South Africa FX reserves Sep-19 [prev. $49.95B]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues

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

  • Split vote complicates govt formation after Tunisia election
  • Libya’s NOC to close Faregh oil field at Zueitina port for maintenance from Oct. 7-14
  • UN peacekeeper killed, 4 wounded in Mali mine attack
  • Mozambique says US gas giant Exxon to finalise LNG investment next week
  • Exit poll shows Islamist Ennahda party first in Tunisia election
  • Rwanda kills 18 assailants after deadly national park attack
  • Around 20 killed in latest wave of Burkina Faso violence
  • Mauritius’ prime minister dissolves parliament, calls general election
  • Egypt says talks over Ethiopia’s Nile dam deadlocked, calls for mediation
  • Congo says IMF is considering new financial support
  • Cameroon president orders main rival freed in bid to calm tensions
  • Ethiopia’s Oromo celebrate festival in Addis amid tight security
  • Kenya farmers mix tradition with teck to protect drying Mara River
  • Morocco coalition party quits ahead of reshuffle
  • Fortescue, SMB-Winning go head-to-head to develop Guinea’s Simandou iron ore
  • Tunisia’s election credibility affected by candidate’s detention – president
  • Tanzania president backs official who beat students with a stick
  • South Africa’s rand ends week on stronger footing
  • Africa Oil – Angolan offers tumble as freight rate pain continues
  • Uganda licenses 2 new commercial banks in crowded market
  • Algeria protesters demand army quit politics after cleric urges election
  • Ethio Telecom appoints evaluator for assets, seeks advisor for privatisation
  • South African attacks on foreigners shame the continent, says Buhari
  • South African defence group Denel reports $125 mln loss
  • South African public broadcaster to get $211 mln govt bailout
  • Kenya shilling strengthens on waning importer demand
  • Facebook says removed multiple accounts from Indonesia, UAE, Nigeria and Egypt

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

macroafricaintel Weekly | 7 Oct

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

Click here for PDF version

Date Data / Event Period Forecast Previous
10 Oct South Africa Manufacturing Production, % yy Aug 2019 -0.8 -1.1
10 Oct South Africa Mining Production, % yy Aug 2019 1.9 2.4
Seychelles CPI, % yy (mm) Sep 2019 1.6 (0.1) 1.8 (0.0)
Botswana CPI, % yy (mm) Sep 2019 3.0 (0.2) 2.9 (0.1)
Tanzania CPI, % yy (mm) Sep 2019 3.7 (0.2) 3.6 (-0.5)
Namibia CPI, % yy (mm) Sep 2019 3.1 (0.1) 3.7 (0.1)
Nigeria CPI, % yy (mm) Sep 2019 11.1 (0.9) 11.0 (1.0)
South Africa CPI, % yy (mm) Sep 2019 4.1 (0.3) 4.3 (0.3)
Mauritius CPI, % yy (mm) Sep 2019 2.0 (0.3) 1.8 (0.3)