#Africa #Markets | 11 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Growth woes, trade tension douse rally in Asian shares
  • MSCI ex-Japan falters from near 8-mth highs led by China
  • Dollar eases for a fourth straight day after weak CPI, Fed minutes
  • Sterling firmer after Europe extends Brexit deadline

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices slip on economic worries, surging US crude supply
  • US crude inventories rise to highest since Nov 2017 – EIA
  • US crude output remains at record 12.2 mbpd
  • Global markets remain tight amid OPEC cuts, US sanctions
  • Brent down 0.3 pct at $71.52 per barrel (0642GMT)
  • WTI down 0.4 pct at $64.34 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold holds near 2-wk high on dovish central banks
  • Gold should see support toward $1,300-$1,305/oz level – MKS
  • Spot gold down 0.2 pct at $1,304.99 per ounce (0733GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.4 pct at $1,309.30 an ounce

Grains

  • Corn prices supported by US planting delays; wheat rebounds
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.6 pct at $4.60-1/2 per bushel (0708GMT)
  • Most active corn futures unchanged at $3.61-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up about 0.1 pct at $9.02-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures up about 0.1 pct at $10.24 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa manufacturing production data for Feb-19 [fcst. 1.1% yy, prev. 0.3%]
  • South Africa mining production data for Feb-19 [fcst. -3.1% yy, prev. -3.3%]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry resumes
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa on campaign trail in Alexandra, Johannesburg
  • Kenya’s Kenyatta in Mauritius

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

  • Nigeria military forced a town of 10,000 people to relocate for security operation, UN says
  • Govt sources, provincial minister say Sudan’s Bashir stepped down
  • Sudan military expected to announce end to Bashir rule – sources
  • Tens of thousands march through Sudan capital Khartoum
  • Kenya shilling weakens due to importer demand, excess liquidity
  • Military deploys in Sudan’s capital, anti-Bashir protest grows – Reuters witness
  • How mass rape in genocide transformed Rwanda’s response to AIDS
  • Libya – Thousands flee Tripoli homes as battle rages on outskirts
  • France blocks EU call to stop Haftar’s offensive in Libya
  • Hundreds of Morocco teachers protest for job security
  • 11 killed in Sudan protests including six ‘state forces’ – govt spokesman
  • Nigeria plans special economic zones to double manufacturing by 2025
  • Algeria to hold July 4 presidential election after mass protests
  • Egypt blocks campaign site opposing constitutional changes – monitor
  • Africa Crude – India’s IOC mops up some slow-selling cargoes
  • Ivory Coast 2018 gold output falls 3.5 pct due to strikes
  • Egypt’s annual headline inflation eases slightly to 14.2 pct in March
  • WHO experts to decide whether Congo ebola outbreak is international emergency
  • Zimbabwe mulls ‘use it or lose it’ approach to mining rights
  • Algeria army chief says judiciary will reopen Sonatrach investigation – state tv
  • Egypt’s core inflation falls to 8.9 pct y/y in March – cbank
  • Algeria army chief says judiciary to start prosecuting “the gang” – Ennahar TV
  • Algeria army chief says will support transitional period – Ennahar
  • EU parliament head says Europe divided over Libya
  • Algeria interior ministry allows 10 new political parties – Ennahar TV
  • Uganda shilling weakens on surge in importer and banks’ demand
  • Absa sees Nigeria expansion plan ready for second half
  • South Africa business confidence drops to 7-mth low in March
  • France expresses regret over expulsion of AFP’s Algeria bureau chief
  • Nearly 2,000 Zambia villagers can sue Vedanta in England – Supreme Court
  • South Africa reports farm outbreak of African swine fever – OIE
  • Uganda seizes 8 suspects over American tourtist’s kidnap
  • Kenya shilling gains ground, helped by remittances
  • Nissan South Africa to invest $213 mln to build new Navara model
  • Refugees in Egypt struggle to live as economic hardships deepen

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

#Africa #Markets | 10 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks retreat from 8-mth high as Trump opens new trade war front
  • Trump threatens tariffs on EU over long-simmering aircraft row
  • IMF cuts global economic outlook, weighs on sentiment
  • Crude oil prices near 5-mth high

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises amid OPEC supply cuts, US sanctions
  • Brent up 0.3 pct at $70.83 per barrel (0056GMT)
  • WTI up 0.3 pct at $64.26 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold trades near 2-wk high on US-EU trade tensions
  • Spot gold down 0.1 pct at $1,303.14 per ounce (0110GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.1 pct at $1,307.60 an ounce

Grains

  • Wheat eases for 5th session on supply pressure
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures down 0.3 pct at $4.58-1/4 per bushel (0108GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.2 pct at $3.60-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up about 0.1 pct at $8.99-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures unchanged at $10.29 per hundredweight

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

  • Bank of Namibia MPC decision [fcst. 6.75%, prev. 6.75%]
  • Kenya’s Kenyatta in Mauritius for 4-day state visit
  • South Africa PIC inquiry continues; Holomisa to be cross-examined
  • South Africa’s EFF Malema press conference
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa officiates Nissan expansion announcement ceremony
  • South Africa SACCI business confidence for Mar-19 [act. 91.8, prev. 93.4]

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

  • Kenya shilling gains ground, helped by remittances
  • Nissan South Africa to invest $213 mln to build new Navara model
  • Refugees in Egypt struggle to live as economic hardships deepen
  • South Africa rand retreats slightly from near 6-wk best
  • Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation eases to 14.2 pct in March – capmas
  • Trump praises Egypt’s Sisi despite concerns about human rights, Russian arms
  • Algeria interim president promises free elections
  • Algeria authorities expel AFP bureau chief, news agency says
  • Zimbabwe seeks $613 mln aid from donors after drought, cyclone
  • Suffering grows from Libya conflict, migrants moved
  • Sudan opposition says around 20 killed since sit-in began
  • Africa Crude – Nigerian crude nearly clear for April, Angolan for May
  • Libya’s NOC discusses with oil firms security at oil facilities – statement
  • Congo ebola outbreak ‘far from contained’, US aid chief says
  • UN says to hold Libya’s national conference as soon as possible
  • Nigeria parliament recommends tax rise on luxury goods
  • Senior Sudan protest organiser calls for sit-in to continue
  • Uganda makes arrests in kidnap of American tourist and her guide
  • Sudan must deliver credible plan for transition – UK, US and Norway
  • UN Libya mission stays in Libya but reduces staffing levels
  • Carrefour Kenya targets number 2 retail banking this year, franchisee says
  • IMF trims South Africa’s economic growth forecast to 1.2 pct
  • Sudan police told not to confront peaceful gatherings – spokesman
  • Nigeria’s twin town ponders cause of multiple births
  • Tunisia’s trade deficit rises to $1.33 bln in first quarter
  • Congo president turned down predecessor’s PM pick – sources
  • Uganda shilling steady, to ease due to dollar demand from energy firms
  • Algeria’s parliament appoints Abdelkader Bensalah as interim president – witness
  • South Africa’s carbon tax could cost Amplats $21 mln a year from 2021 – CEO
  • Kenya shilling weakens on demand from energy sector
  • Drought will drag down Kenya’s 2019 economic growth, World Bank says
  • Malawi 2018/19 maize output up 24 pct, minimal effect from cyclone Idai – minister
  • Kenya central bank says to hold rate-setting meeting on May 27

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

#Africa #Markets | 9 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares edge up to 8-mth peak, oil settles
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific hits 8-mth high as Chinese shares rise
  • Europe expected to begin cautiously
  • Brexit summit, ECB meeting, earnings season in focus

Oil Markets

  • Oil near 5-mth highs amid Libya violence, OPEC cuts, US sanctions
  • US sanctions against Iran, Venezuela further tighten market
  • Libya fighting triggers concerns over its oil exports
  • Slowing economy could weigh on fuel consumption later this year
  • Brent at $70.99 per barrel (0700GMT), easing from $71.34 (Nov 2018 high) earlier
  • WTI at $64.42 per barrel, easing $64.77 (Nov 2018 high) earlier

Precious metals

  • Gold prices gain as dollar loses ground after weak US data
  • SPDR gold holdings drop for 6th straight session
  • Platinum hovers below 10-mth peak hit on Monday
  • Spot gold up 0.2 pct at $1,299.34 per ounce (0534GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.1 pct at $1,303.20 an ounce

Grains

  • Wheat drops to 1-wk low on US crop condition, corn eases for 3rd day
  • Most active CBOT wheat futres down 1 pct at $4.60-3/4 per bushel (0113GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.1 pct at $3.59-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures largely unchanged at $8.99 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.5 pct at $10.37 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa PIC inquiry continues
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa to be briefed by PRASA at its offices in Cape Town
  • Bank of Namibia MPC decision [fcst. 6.75%, prev. 6.75%]
  • EABC CEO roundtable in Arusha, Tanzania
  • IMF world economic update
  • World Bank Kenya economic update
  • Signing of IEC electoral code of conduct by South Africa’s political parties
  • Egypt’s Sisi in US; to meet Trump today

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

  • Sudan security forces in fresh attempt to clear protesters outside defence ministry
  • South Africa’s carbon tax could cost Amplats up to $21 mln – CEO
  • South Africa’s rand on the front foot in early trade
  • Kenya central bank says to hold rate-setting meeting on May 27
  • Heavy gunfire heard at protest in Sudan’s capital – live TV
  • Libya’s UN-backed leader receives phone call from Italy’s Conte
  • US tourist, guide kidnapped in Uganda freed after ‘settlement’ – tour firm
  • Trump, Egypt’s Sisi to discuss security during White House visit
  • Drought to drag down Kenya’s 2019 economic growth, World Bank says
  • Battle rages for Libya’s capital, airport bombed
  • Sudan army blocks attempt to disperse protesters – witnesses
  • Libya’s UN-backed PM in Tripoli receives phone call from Macron
  • Eastern Libya force confirms air strike in Tripoli’s only functioning airport
  • Nigeria seeks private investors for aircraft leasing venture
  • UN envoy to Libya condems attack on Tripoli’s Mitiga airport
  • Sudan’s defence minister says security forces won’t permit attempts to divide them – SUNA
  • Egypt strategic rice reserves at six months after latest purchase – ministry
  • Africa Crude – Angolan clearing for May as Nigerian still struggles
  • Eastern Libya forces lose control of former Tripoli international airport – witnesses
  • Rwanda rebel group spokesman faces terrorism-related charges in Kigali court
  • World Bank cuts Zambia’s 2019 GDP growth forecast
  • 7 people killed over 2 days during protests in Sudan – interior minister
  • Sub-Saharan Africa economic growth recovery to take longer – World Bank
  • Fighting in south of Libya capital kills 25, wounds 80 – health ministry
  • Egypt unveils 2,500 yr-old mummy at forgotten cemetery
  • South Africa court says Mozambique ex-finance minister can be extradited to US – lawyer
  • UN repeats calls for Libya truce to allow evacuations
  • UN tells Libya’s Serraj it is staying in Tripoli at critical time
  • France had no warning of Haftar’s advance on Tripoli, Libya – French diplomatic source
  • EU’s Mogherini calls for humanitarian truce in Libya
  • Zimabwe to start paying white farmers compensation in April

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

#Africa #Markets | 8 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares off 7-mth peak, mood turns cautious
  • China blue-chips fade from 1-yr peak, Nikkei highest since Dec
  • Beijing signals more stimulus ahead
  • Eyes on Fed minutes, latest Brexit deadline
  • Oil prices reach highs for the year so far

Oil Markets

  • Oil climbs to 5-mth high amid OPEC cuts, US sanctions and Libya fighting
  • OPEC, allies have been witholding supply since start of 2019
  • US sanctions against Iran, Venezuela also push up crude
  • Strong US jobs data helping to support markets
  • Analysts still warn of global trade slowdown
  • Brent up 0.4 pct at $70.62 per barrel (0716GMT)
  • WTI up 0.5 pct at $63.39 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices hit 1-wk high as dollar turns lower
  • Gold specs cut net long positions in week to April 2
  • SPDR gold holdings fell 3 pct last week
  • Platinum hits its highest since May 31 at $912.90/oz
  • Spot gold up 0.4 pct at $1,296.06 per ounce (0605GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.4 pct at $1,300.40 an ounce

Grains

  • Wheat eases for 3rd session on improved US crop outlook, soybeans firm
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures down 0.5 pct at $4.65-1/4 per bushel (0119GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.1 pct at $3.62-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up 0.3 pct at $9.01-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures up 0.1 pct at $10.53 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa state capture inquiry resumes [Adjourned to Thursday, 11 Apr]
  • South Africa PIC inquiry resumes
  • Inauguration of Kenya’s supreme court justice Ojwang probe tribunal
  • Nigeria’s Buhari speech at 2019 Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai
  • South Africa releases national school monitoring survey

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

  • Tanzania to ban single-use plastics by July – environment minister
  • UN says 2,200 people flee Libya clashes, many more trapped
  • Kenya shilling gains ground, helped by inflows into govt bonds
  • South Africa rand retreats from 5-wk high
  • Sudan soldiers step in to protect protesters from security forces – witnesses
  • Squeezed by US shale, Nigeria oil propped up by Asian demand
  • Sudan security forces try to break up protest outside defence ministry – witnesses
  • UN-backed Libya govt: 11 killed and 23 wounded in clashes in southern Tripoli
  • Thousands of Sudanese protesters hold second day of sit-in outside Bashir’s compound
  • Rwanda honours those killed in genocide 25 years ago
  • Eastern Libya forces conduct air strikes on Tripoli as UN fails to reach truce
  • American tourist kidnapped in Uganda park rescued – Uganda military
  • Shell appoints its former Tunisia chief to head Egypt business
  • Nigeria suspends mining in Zamfara state after banditry surges
  • Sudan suffers total power blackout – ministry of electricity
  • UN calls for truce in southern Tripoli, Libya to evacuate wounded
  • Eastern Libya forces carry out air strike in south Tripoli – sources
  • Thousands of Sudan protesters hold second day of sit-in outside Bashir’s compound
  • France’s Macron to declare April 7 as commemoration day of Rwanda genocide
  • After floods drench eastern Zimbabwe, water shortages parch Harare
  • Egypt’s March non-oil private sector activity contracts, PMI shows
  • Sudan protesters clash with security forces outside Bashir’s compound
  • Civilian killed during protests in Sudan’s Omdurman
  • France’s Macron, UN’s Guterres want political solution to Libya crisis
  • Algeria’s parliament to elect new interim president on Tuesday – agency
  • UN to hold Libya conference as planned despite surge in fighting – envoy
  • Russia tells Libya’s Haftar it favours political solution to crisis
  • G7 powers urge Haftar to halt advance on Libya’s capital
  • Tunisia president Essebsi says he does not want to run for a second term
  • G7: Libya’s oil facilities must not be sued for political gain
  • G7 cannot accept military escalation in Libya, says Germany
  • Egypt says Libya crisis cannot be resolved through military means
  • Russia wants politicians in Libya to agree between themselves
  • Ethiopia inflation up to 11.2 pct in year to March – stats bureau
  • Egypt to slash fuel subsidies as it nears end of IMF programme
  • Morocco court upholds prison sentences against Rif protesters
  • Rwandan convicted of lying while seeking US asylum after genocide
  • Eastern Libya forces control the former Tripoli airport – residents, spokesman
  • Finely painted Ptolemaic tomb unveiled in Egypt
  • Tripoli forces retake former airport – minister
  • Thousands rally in Mali to protest ethnic violence
  • Bereaved families blame Boeing after Ethiopia crash report
  • DRC plans oil licensing round this year
  • Hundreds of thousands of Algerians march for sweeping change
  • US 2018 air strike in Somalia killed 2 civilians, US review finds
  • Africa Crude – Buyers aloof as offers still too high
  • UN secretary general says he is leaving Libya with “heavy heart”
  • Libya El Sharar oil field and Zawiya port working normally – field engineer
  • UN ups Zimbabwe aid appeal after cyclone
  • Tunisia tightens border controls due to escalation between rival Libya factions
  • Gulf states, Egypt say will boycott parliament meet in Doha
  • Macron appoints researchers to evaluate role of France in Rwanda genocide
  • Indonesia to send investigators to Ethiopia to aid crash probes
  • Flows to emerging markets should recover in 2019, 2020, IIF says
  • Libya forces allied to Tripoli takes 145 prisoners from Eastern forces
  • Algeria protesters return to the streets as spy boss reported sacked
  • Egypt kills hundreds of suspected militants in disputed gun battles
  • Tanzania’s tourism revenues jump 7 pct in 2018
  • Kenya shilling holds steady against the dollar
  • Fitch sees Brent crude at $62.5/bbl in 2020 as economic woes bite
  • Egypt says 2 bln eurobond offer completes international debt auction for FY 18/19
  • Russia says it is not backing Libya commander Haftar’s westward push
  • Guterres flying to eastern Libya to meet Haftar and lawmakers
  • South Africa’s Steinhoff accounts publication postponed again
  • Egypt says eurobond offer covered fourfold, no more international debt auctions in FY 2018/19
  • South Africa’s net FX reserves fall to $43.3 bln in March

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

macroafricaintel Weekly | 8 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Click here for PDF version

Date Data / Event Period Forecast Previous
10 Apr Namibia Policy Rate, % 6.75 6.75
11 Apr South Africa Manufacturing Production, % yy Feb 2019 1.1 0.3
11 Apr South Africa Mining Production, % yy Feb 2019 -3.1 -3.3
Tanzania CPI, % yy (mm) Mar 2019 2.7 (0.9) 3.0 (1.1)
Botswana CPI, % yy (mm) Mar 2019 3.5 (0.3) 3.3 (0.1)
Namibia CPI, % yy (mm) Mar 2019 4.4 (0.1) 4.4 (-0.1)
Nigeria CPI, % yy (mm) Mar 2019 11.1 (0.7) 11.3 (0.7)
Ghana CPI, % yy (mm) Mar 2019 9.0 (0.9) 9.2 (1.0)
South Africa CPI, % yy (mm) Mar 2019 4.0 (0.4) 4.1 (0.8)

macroafricaintel | South Africa – Will Ramaphosa bring down the house? (1)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

In mid-February, Bantu Holomisa, president of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), a political party, exclaimed “we now know the cost of state capture…billions of rands have been stolen and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been weakened”. Holomisa made these remarks at UDM’s manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth against the backdrop of renewed load shedding by the country’s state power utility monopoly, Eskom, which the UDM president attributed to state capture. “Like Prasa, Eskom is no longer able to perform service as it should”. He was only stating the obvious.

At his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) a week before, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the matter quite succinctly. “The revelations emerging from the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture and other commissions are deeply disturbing, for they reveal a breadth and depth of criminal wrongdoing that challenges the very foundation of our democratic state”. More importantly, “where there is a basis to prosecute, prosecutions must follow swiftly and stolen public funds must be recovered urgently”, the president added.

Incidentally, Holomisa’s speech a week after, happened at exactly the same time the ruling African National Congress (ANC) president was addressing party faithfuls at their own manifesto rollout in Limpopo. “President Ramaphosa may be a decent man, but he is just one man”, Holomisa remarked.

“There is nothing to stop the ANC from deciding to remove him just as they recalled Thabo Mbeki and replaced him with a person facing over eight hundred criminal charges”, the UDM president added. Holomisa was also speaking from personal experience: the ANC expelled him in 1996, after he testified before the Desmond Tutu-led Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Incidentally, Ramaphosa had, only just days before, during his response to the SONA debate in the South African parliament, been defending himself against accusations by Congress of the People (COPE) president Mosiuoa Lekota, a former member of the ANC and former minister of defence, that he betrayed his struggle comrades to the apartheid regime when he was a student leader. Ultra-leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party has called for a judicial commission of inquiry into the accusations by Lekota.

And about a month before, EFF leader Julius Malema also asked Ramaphosa to clear the air on the actual relationship between his son Andile and Bosasa (registered as “African Global Operations”), a facilities management firm implicated in state capture that was recently liquidated by its sponsors after banks refused to do business with it.

In light of this context, how far will Ramaphosa go to fight corruption within the ruling ANC and the state? How far can he really go? New African posed these questions to top political analysts.

Treacherous politics
“Ramaphosa has already started to tackle corruption by replacing the boards of corrupted firms and hiring credible prosecutors”, says Adeline Van Houtte, Africa analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in London. “Cracking down on corruption and prosecuting offenders remain key elements of Ramaphosa’s agenda”, she adds.

“But whether Ramaphosa succeeds depends on elections outcome on May 8th. But even if the ANC wins, he will face ferocious opposition to the clean-up from within his party. He will therefore need to tread carefully as it would be easy for rivals to remove him from the party leadership”.

Thus, “Ramaphosa is constrained in different ways in terms of combatting corruption at the state level and within the ANC itself”, says Oxford-based Jason Robinson, a senior Africa analyst at Oxford Analytica.

Langelihle Malimela, Johannesburg-based senior economics and country risk analyst at IHS Markit, provides additional context. “It is all likely to drag though, for some time. In other words, it will be some time before many prominent people are actually put on trial.”

“What Ramaphosa has done is to place emphasis on building institutions and following due process. It has served him well in the sense that, when he has gone after someone, such as his firing of the SARS [South African Revenue Service] commissioner, he has prevailed in the ensuing legal storm.”

“On the downside, it makes him appear indecisive and slow. But he is trying to ring-fence these institutions and put them on solid footing in case he is removed in future by the party.”

An edited version was published in the March 2019 issue of New African magazine

#Africa #Markets | 5 Apr

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares hug weekly gains, wait on US jobs test
  • Asia stocks ex-Japan camp near highest since August
  • Nikkei holds 2.8 pct gain for the week
  • Yen eases as Sino-US trade talks slowly progress

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices dip amid economic concerns, but on track for weekly gain
  • Oil set for weekly gain on OPEC supply cuts, US sanctions
  • But economic concerns weigh on demand outlook
  • Brent down 15 cents at $69.25 a barrel (0455GMT)
  • WTI down 1 cent at $62.09

Precious metals

  • Gold steadies above 10-wk low; focus on US jobs data
  • Spot gold flat at $1,291.71 per ounce (0104GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.1 pct at $1,295.40 an ounce

Grains

  • Soybeans set for biggest weekly gain since early Jan on US-China trade hopes
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures down 0.9 pct at $4.66-3/4 per bushel (0113GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.3 pct at $3.64-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.4 pct at $9.02-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.2 pct at $10.53 per hundredweight

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

  • Nigeria’s Buhari in Jordan for MENA World Economic Forum
  • South Africa state capture inquiry resumes
  • Kenya by-elections in Embakasi South, Ugenya and Lelan Ward
  • South Africa gross FX reserves for Mar-19 [act. $49.7B, prev. $50.8B]

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

  • South Africa rand set for 3 pct weekly gain after Moody’s review delay
  • Ethiopia crash raises questions over handling of faults on Boeing 737 MAX
  • South Africa’s net foreign reserves fall to $43.3 bln in March
  • Eastern Libya commander orders forces to move on Tripoli
  • Ethiopia inquiry shows Boeing MAX hurtling uncontrolled to disaster
  • Pentagon to do new ‘narrowly-scooped’ review of deadly 2017 Niger ambush
  • Forces allied to eastern Libya military take over checkpoint west of Tripoli – resident
  • Islamic State says it killed 18 soldiers in west Africa
  • East Libya forces say 2 soldiers injured in clashes during Tripoli advance
  • Car bomb explodes near police academy in Somali capital – police
  • Islamic State says killed 13 Nigerian soldiers in attacks
  • US, France, others urge de-escalation of tensions in Libya
  • Riff Raff the South African elephant dodges death sentence
  • Armed groups from Libya’s Misrata are moving to defend Tripoli – residents
  • Nigeria’s Oando sells stake in gas company for $41.5 mln to cut debt
  • Eastern Libya forces secure Gharyan, arrive in al-Heira area – spokesman
  • UN’s Guterres says there is no military solution to Libya’s crisis
  • Nigeria to issue first 30-yr naira bond
  • Egypt offers euro-denominated bonds on London stock exchange – bank
  • Oando sells 25 pct in Nigeria gas company to private equity firm Helios
  • Kenya forecasts 6.3 pct economic growth in 2019
  • Egypt set to raise 2 bln euro with dual-tranche bond – document
  • Congo arrests rebel leader wanted for mass rape
  • Uganda and Tanzania currencies seen falling; next week
  • Vodacom unit alleged to have caused $4.76 mln loss to Tanzania
  • London court orders Djibouti to pay $385 mln for exclusivity breach – UAE news agency
  • Uganda shilling weakens on banks’ demand
  • Ethiopia to investigate crashed plane problems for up to a year
  • Fire disrupts terminal at Kenya’s main airport in Nairobi
  • Ethiopia Airlines says plane repeatedly nose-dived before crash
  • Uganda says kidnapped American tourist did not take armed guard
  • UN chief concerned by military movement in Libya, sees risk of confrontation
  • South African rand weaker as govt mulls more Eskom support
  • Kenya shilling edges up against the dollar

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