Capitalism and development

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

The main idea in IE Business School global economy professor and fund manager Daniel Lacalle’s 2020 book “Freedom or Equality: The key to prosperity through social capitalism” is the “need to apply the power of free markets to solve society’s greatest problems.” In his assertion, “there are market-based solutions to all of our social problems.” Thus, Lacalle defines “social capitalism” as the application of “free market ingenuity toward solving social problems.”

Simply put, “the private sector, not the government, makes direct investments in social welfare.” It is not suggested that firms become charities. Not at all. Social welfare is simply good business. There is money to be made. Plenty of it. But you also add value to society in tandem. A so-called “win-win”.

The idea might not easily appeal to people in places where things already work, where governments deliver public services efficiently and do so quite optimally. In fact, social capitalism could easily be confused with “socialism” if the distinction is properly delineated. In a socialist system, the “community”, proxied by the state, owns “the means of production, distribution, and exchange”. For social capitalism, however, the “individual” remains at the core. Simply put, social capitalism is not collectivism.

And unlike socialism or communism, social capitalism evolves with the times. It is dynamic. It relies on an incentive system that recognises the motivations and weaknesses of human nature. Public goods are likely to be delivered efficiently if there is a profit motive. And the desire to ensure the money wheel keeps spinning motivates adherence to the rules.

So what would be the role of governments then? Their guiding philosophy should certainly be to help businesses in anyway they can. This is not as simple as it seems. When governments look at firms, they see taxes and how their budgets would be financed. In the system being proposed, governments engage businesses before the money-making begins.

In other words, they ask firms how they can help them achieve their targets. They engage the business community on a regular basis. If done right, the relationship becomes a symbiotic one, whereby concessions here and there translate into gains in social welfare. In Lacalle’s exposition, “the government [would] be a facilitator, not the executor, of social welfare.”

Naturally, you may wonder if such an approach might not create a system whereby there is ample but expensive pipe-borne water, power supply, and other social services. And there is always the risk of monopolistic or cartel behaviour, whereby a firm or group of firms dominate an industry so much that they cannot be controlled. There is also the risk that the owners of such dominant firms extend their influence into politics and government.

These are not unfounded. But is it not already the case that the rich influence politics and governments in most countries? And it has nothing to do with whether the country is wealthy or not. American lobbyists literally dictate key legislations and orders of the executive branch; albeit with some finesse. In poor countries, the rich are much more brazen. They have no qualms with parading the extent of their influence in government. And in some cases, they become the government themselves.

In other words, the potential risks of a private sector-led social welfare system are already there. What social capitalism ensures is that firms make money and engender social welfare in tandem. Privately-financed roads rarely have potholes. Consumers of commercially-priced electricity make sure to switch off the lights when going to bed. Needless showers are usually rare if water supply is metered. Our governments would certainly have less debt on their books consequently. We may not have as much corruption. And firms would certainly be interested in sustaining the political system that puts them first.

But should the priority of governments not be the people? Of course, it should. People want jobs. They want to live in a functioning society, where the roads are smooth, and electricity and clean water are taken for granted. The record of governments trying to do these on their own is very poor, however. Capitalism without a leash is similarly terrible, as the rising inequality and populist backlash in rich countries show.

Winston Churchill once described the dilemma succinctly: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” With the right incentives and safeguards, firms could do for development what they do for themselves.

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 11 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • Shares struggle to shake off bearish mood as US tech giants fall anew
  • MSCI AxJ down 0.2%, Nikkei up 0.3%
  • NYSE Fang+ index down 5.4% so far this week
  • Brent down 0.2% at $39.98, WTI flat at $37.30

Oil Markets

  • Oil extends losses as stockpile rise amid weakening demand
  • Brent down 0.5% at $39.88 a barrel (0337GMT)
  • WTI down 0.4% at $37.16

Precious metals

  • Gold slips from 1-wk peak hit by stronger dollar
  • Spot gold down 0.8% at $1,938.53/oz. (0308GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.8% at $1,948/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans set for fifth weekly gain as China ramps up purchases
  • Corn set for positive finish as market eyes USDA forecast
  • Soybeans up 13% so far in 5 weeks
  • Soybean futures up 1.2% this week
  • Corn up 2.2% for the week

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

  • South Africa SACCI business confidence Aug-20 [prev. 82.8]
  • AGRF virtual “Feed the Cities” summit in Kigali; 8-11 Sep
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Zimbabwe divorce law spurs women’s fight for property
  • Protests flare in Libya’s Benghazi over power cuts, living conditions
  • Sudan declares state of economic emergency after sharp fall in currency
  • Nigeria’s central bank told to stop giving forex for food imports
  • Nigeria President Buhari directs central bank to stop issuing foreign exchange for food imports
  • Nigeria doctors suspend strike to allow govt time to meet demands
  • Suspected militants kill at least 53 in eastern Congo
  • Mozambique denies accusations of abuses in insurgency-hit province
  • Unilever South Africa to pull all TRESemme products for 10 days over ‘racist’ ad
  • Death toll in eastern Congo village attacks rises to at least 53
  • Communities ‘left out’ as oil pipeline project set to get underway in East Africa
  • EU sea patrol stops UAE ship on suspicion of breaking Libya arms embargo
  • AstraZeneca vaccine trial pause a “wake-up call”, says WHO
  • Egypt to hold parliamentary elections on Oct 24-25 – elections commissioner
  • Libya’s NOC says armed group entered Sharara oil field on Sunday, one person killed
  • CAR seeks justice for rural victims of sexual violence
  • Ivory Coast to hike farmgate cocoa prices 21% this season, sources say
  • South Africa’s Harmony Gold expects to swing to a full year loss
  • South Africa Airways needs state cash next week – administrators
  • WHO says $700 mln raised so far for Covid-19 vaccines initiative for poor
  • Uganda says to re-open airport and resume international flights on Oct. 1
  • South Africa’s FirstRand hopes to return to dividends next year
  • South Africa’s manufacturing output falls 10.6% y/y in July
  • Police and protesters clash as Mali starts post-coup transition talks
  • South Africa Airways needs state cash next week – administrators
  • South Africa’s Aspen to seek acquisitions in emerging markets
  • South Africa’s Dis-chem joins list of retailers removing TRESemme products from shelves
  • South Africa’s Eskom expects 2021 replacement of generators at nuclear plant
  • Chickens roost in Kenya’s empty classrooms amid Covid-19 shutdown
  • Kenya county tackles water woes with locally led climate fund
  • Insurer Sanlam posts profit rise, to expand across Africa
  • South Africa insurer Sanlam reports 10% half-year profit rise

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 10 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • Asian stock markets gain following tech bounce, euro waits for ECB
  • MSCI AxJ up 0.5% after Nasdaq jumped 2.7% overnight
  • Currency markets await ECB
  • Oil prices back under pressure amid demand fears
  • Brent down 0.4% at $40.63, WTI down 0.6% at $37.82

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices fall as growing US stockpiles signal bumpy demand recovery
  • US stockpiles rose last week, drop had been expected
  • Brent down 0.4% at $40.62 a barrel (0417GMT); rose 2.5% Wed.
  • WTI down 0.6% at $37.81; rose 3.5% on Wed.

Precious metals

  • Gold at 1-wk high as weak dollar supports; ECB meet in focus
  • Spot gold flat at $1,945.87/oz. (0307GMT)
  • US gold futures steady at $1,955.50/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans retreat from over 2-yr high ahead of USDA report
  • Soybeans snap winning streak despite Chinese demand
  • Wheat firms on concerns over Black Sea production
  • Soybean futures down 0.2% at $9.76-1/2 a bushel (0342GMT)
  • Corn up 0.1% at $3.60-1/2 a bushel
  • Wheat up 0.4% at $5.46 a bushel

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

  • South Africa current account balance Q2-2020 [fcst. 5.1% of GDP, prev. 1.3%]
  • South Africa manufacturing production Jul-20 [fcst. -11.2% yy, prev. -16.3%]
  • South Africa mining production Jul-20 [fcst. -20.4% yy, prev. -28.2%]
  • South Africa SACCI business confidence Aug-20 [prev. 82.8]
  • AGRF virtual “Feed the Cities” summit in Kigali; 8-11 Sep
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • South Africa human rights lawyer George Bizos dies at 92
  • Mali’s protest leader backs civilian ‘rare bird’ to lead transition
  • Guinea constitutional council clears President Conde’s third term bid
  • Floods kill at least 13 and injure 19 in Burkina Faso
  • Nigeria in talks to give up majority stakes in refineries, NNPC chief says
  • All four of Nigeria’s refineries are currently shut down, says NNPC chief
  • Turkey sentences five journalists for naming intelligence agents in Libya
  • Businesses doing good can reboot ‘fairer’ Africa after coronavirus
  • Ethiopia’s Tigray holds regional election in defiance of federal govt
  • United to add new direct US flights to Africa, India, Hawaii
  • Uganda move to regulate online activity is tool to curb dissent ahead of polls – rights groups
  • South Africa volunteers on AstraZeneca vaccine trial say not alarmed by pause
  • Egypt sets up commodities exchange for wheat, oils, sugar and rice
  • Nigeria asks for $1.1 bln advance from Eni, Shell in graft case
  • Air Namibia plans 50% cut to wages of some workers
  • Kenya’s $580m medical equipment leasing deal ‘criminal’ – Senate panel
  • Tullow Oil fending off potential cash crunch, reports $1.3 bln loss
  • Zimbabwe nurses end 3-mth strike over pay
  • Strategic Somaliland touts its oil and gas as opens Taiwan office

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 9 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • Tech rout roils Asian shares, oil futures extend slump
  • Trading in US stock options raises eyebrows
  • Delay in vaccine testing hurts sentiment
  • Oil futures fall sharply on worries about energy demand
  • Brent down 0.5% at $39.57, WTI down 0.7% at $36.51

Oil Markets

  • Oil falls further amid growing alarm over coronavirus second wave
  • Brent down 0.4% at $39.62 a barrel (0241GMT)
  • WTI down 0.7% at $36.52

Precious metals

  • Gold flat as dollar strength counters safe-haven demand
  • Spot gold little changed at $1,929.30/oz. (0038GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.3% at $1,936.80/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans ease from 2-yr top, Chinese buying limits losses
  • Soybean futures down 0.4% at $9.69 a bushel (0235GMT)
  • Wheat down 0.1% at $5.43-1/2 a bushel
  • Corn down 0.6% at $3.59-1/2 a bushel

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

  • Ethiopia’s Tigray region holds parliamentary polls; Ahmed not amused
  • Ghana’s Akufo-Addo tours Bono East region, main challenger Mahama campaigning too
  • AGRF virtual “Feed the Cities” summit in Kigali; 8-11 Sep
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Ethiopia’s Tigray holding regional elections in defiance of federal govt
  • Unique anatomy helps the African wild dog sustain its life on the run
  • Zimbabwe bans mining in wildlife parks
  • Egypt Air to resume direct flights from Thursday in boost to tourism
  • South Africa retailer Clicks to remove TRESemme products from shelves over advert
  • South Africa economy plunged during strict lockdown
  • Angola seizes AAA assets, hotel chains linked to de Sao Vicente, TV reports
  • Namibia eases coronavirus restrictions to attract tourists
  • Dozens of abandoned migrants rescued in Sahara
  • Nigeria doctors strike again over benefits amid coronavirus
  • South Africa’s Shoprite to quit Kenya
  • Bahrain’s ABC says in preliminary talks to buy Blom Bank’s Egypt business
  • South Africa’s Q2 expenditure on GDP down 52.3% q/q
  • South Africa economy contracts 51% q/q in Q2
  • South Africa’s Aspen sells thrombosis drug business to Mylan, shares jump
  • Panic buying, discount shoppers lift South Africa’s Shoprite annual earnings

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 8 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • Shares stabilise, try to shrug off US tech rout scare
  • Ex-Japan Asia up 0.37%, Nikkei rises 0.4%
  • S&P500 futures up 0.5%, Nasdaq futures down 0.1%
  • US debt yields off lows
  • Brent up 0.1% at $42.07

Oil Markets

  • Oil mixed after dropping on demand concerns post-US holiday
  • Brent up 0.1% at $42.07 a barrel (0221GMT)
  • WTI down 1.6% at $39.13

Precious metals

  • Gold subdued on strong dollar; ECB meeting in focus
  • Spot gold down 0.2% at $1,925.68/oz. (0048GMT)
  • US gold futures steady at $1,934.60/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans rise for 11th session on strong Chinese demand, wheat eases
  • Renewed fears of rain & flooding in China
  • Soybean futures up 0.7% at $9.74-3/4 a bushel (0212GMT)
  • Wheat down 0.1% at $5.49-1/2 a bushel
  • Corn up 1.4% at $3.63

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

  • South Africa GDP Q2-2020 [fcst. -20.0% qq saa, prev. -2.0% cons. -47.3%]
  • Kenya Senate resumes plenary after 1-mth recess; revenue formula top on agenda
  • Nigeria resident doctors go on strike
  • AGRF virtual “Feed the Cities” summit in Kigali; 8-11 Sep
  • South Africa SACCI business confidence Aug-20 [prev. 82.8]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Egypt’s total recorded coronavirus cases hit 100,041 – Health ministry
  • South Africa retailer Clicks’ stores face protests over ads seen as racist
  • West Africa leaders say Mali junta must name a president by Sept. 15
  • Libya oil units halt operations due to spread of virus
  • Nigeria’s Buhari calls electricity price rise, petrol deregulation crucial decisions
  • 3 Somalia special forces killed, US officer wounded in car bomb – Somali official
  • Ivory Coast cocoa farmers say rainfall will boost main crop
  • West Africa bloc chairman calls for Mali junta’s cooperation
  • Ethiopia bars journalists from flying to Tigray regional vote – passengers
  • Japan says it offered Mauritius “unprecedented” support, including financial
  • South Africa consumer confidence improves in third quarter as lockdown eases
  • As occupations gather pace, South Africa landowners fear for their property

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 7 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • US markets shut for Labor Day holiday
  • Asian shares on shaky footing amid elevated valuations, oil skids
  • Japan’s Nikkei falls, Chinese shares in red
  • MSCI ex-Japan barely changed after two straight days of losses
  • Currency market action muted
  • Oil falls more than $1 after Saudi price cuts; Brent at $42.16

Oil Markets

  • Oil drops more than $1 after Saudi price cuts, demand optimism fades
  • Saudi crude prices to Asia fall the most in five months in Oct
  • Brent down 2.1% at $41.75 a barrel (0000GMT)
  • WTI down 2.3% at $38.86

Precious metals

  • Gold gains as global growth worries support demand
  • Spot gold up 0.2% at $1,935.50/oz. (0341GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.5% at $1,943.40/oz.

Grains

  • US markets shut for Labor Day

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

  • ECOWAS leaders meet face-to-face in Niamey; Mali, Eco currency & Covid-19 top on agenda
  • Ghana’s main opposition NDC & flagbearer Mahama launch 2020 manifesto
  • South Africa’s opposition EFF protest against racist slur by corporate
  • South Africa FX reserves Aug-20 [prev. $57.88B]
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today

  • ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero was not kidnapped – President Kagame
  • Algeria says new constitution to meet protesters’ demands, allow more reforms
  • Senegal activates emergency floods aid plan after downpour
  • Veteran Guinea opposition leader to challenge President Conde in October election
  • France’s Le Drian: We must not let the guard down in Mali
  • Nigeria to deliver aid by air in conflict-hit northeast
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank to restart talks on Bank Audi’s Egypt unit – sources
  • Tunisia police kill three suspected militants after fatal attack on officer
  • Ousted Mali president leaves country for Abu Dhabi as transition talks begin
  • Two France soliders killed, one injured in Mali – Presidency
  • Ethiopia’s upper house rules Tigray regional vote unconstitutional
  • Dozens of hippos at risk in dried-up water hole in Namibia
  • Rowdy protests get Mali transition off to chaotic start
  • Sudan declares 3-month state of emergency over floods – SUNA
  • UK court allows Nigeria more time to appeal in $10 billion dispute
  • Congo police fire tear gas to disperse protest over Rwanda diplomat
  • Libya families file US lawsuit accusing LNA leader Haftar of war crimes
  • Sudan and major rebel group agree to resume peace talks
  • About 10 Mali soldiers killed in militant attack, army says
  • Algeria’s Sonatrach says it controlled oil leaks
  • Malawi’s economy to shrink 1.9% in 2020, president says
  • Black Lives Matter forces South Africa sport to face past demons
  • Mali’s junta faces reality check as honeymoon phase ends
  • Turkey says France’s Macron ‘hysterical’ over Syria, Libya, East Med
  • Ethiopia Airlines in rescue talks with South Africa Airways – CEO
  • Militia enters city unopposed in east Congo, surrounds prison
  • Thousands rally to support Congo’s threatened Nobel Laureate
  • South Africa’s Eskom suspends managers it blames for plant breakdowns
  • Ethiopia Tigray region to hold poll, defying federal govt
  • Kenyans fear ‘ecologicial disaster’ if two swollen lakes merge
  • Algeria’s Sonatrach says 2 oil leakages occurred at the OK1 pipeline due to bad weather

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

Capitalism and governance

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

What is capitalism? This is the question Harvard University professor Rebecca Henderson starts with in her 2020 book “Reimagining capitalism: How business can save the world “. Capitalism is certainly “the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen”. But it is also on “the verge of destroying the planet and destabilizing society”. Capitalism has been a huge success and a disastrous failure. Henderson’s thesis is that a rethinking may enable us enjoy more of the good and prevent or mitigate the bad.

According to Henderson, “the three greatest problems of our time” are “massive environmental degradation, economic inequality, and institutional collapse.” Fossil fuels, which drive our industries, are destroying the earth’s climate. Our oceans are becoming acidic, with sea levels rising in tandem. There is increasingly less arable land. And we no longer have enough fresh water to meet our needs. If we do not change the way we do things, there would be deeper economic recessions, more flooding, and hunger in the nearer future.

In Africa, we know a lot about environmental degradation. Foreign firms extract mineral resources from our lands with scant regard for sustainability. But are they entirely to blame if they do so in the full glare of the authorities with relative impunity? We also know about hunger, drought, and increasingly now, flooding. Imagine the bizarre contrast. One moment, we worry about little or no rainfall. Then it pours, and our worry turns to the harvest, as a big part is washed away.

We also know a bit about the value of fresh water. With dysfunctional or no water infrastructure in most of our cities, we find solace in water drawn from boreholes and wells, which we are barely able to purify enough to avoid falling ill. But even that is becoming scarce in fast-drying northern lands owing to climate change. Such is the value now placed on the resource that one African government is mulling the enactment of a law to regulate water as a resource like it does crude oil and other extractives. Talk about an example of capitalism gone too far or governance gone awry.

But our type of capitalism is not the free-market kind. Ours is crony capitalism, which Henderson defines as “a political system in which the rich and the powerful get together to run the state – and the market – for their benefit.” “Extractive elites monopolize economic activity and systematically underinvest (when they invest at all) in public goods such as roads, hospitals, and schools (Henderson, 2020).” Our elites are extractive. So even when they mean well – they rarely do – we find it hard to believe them.

Thus, if you wonder why there are uproars when supposedly development-oriented policies are announced, this is why. The people do not believe that they would be the ultimate beneficiaries. So when electricity tariffs are raised, petroleum pricing liberalised, and water about to be regulated, there is hardly any explanation by a government that would be convincing enough to its majority poor, whose already meagre earnings would afford them even less.

What is the role of business in all these? Whether our type of capitalism is underpinned by cronies or the vagaries of the markets or both, their shareholders are the main beneficiaries. So in order to keep their spoils, they have to be mindful of the gaps in public governance in their respective jurisdictions.

Our power companies should abide by the deliberate price discrimination mechanism in the regulations to ensure the poor are able to afford enough electricity for their needs. Oil and mining companies should extract resources in our lands with as much care as they do back home. And our governments should certainly not regulate the very basic amenities they have failed to provide.

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 4 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks drop after Wall Street’s tech rally stumbles
  • Nikkei, ASX 200, Kospi all open lower
  • Falls more muted than 5% Nasdaq plunge, MSCI AxJ -0.6%
  • Dollar & bonds trade firmly, US payrolls eyed
  • Brent down 0.5% at $43.83, gold steady at $1,933.28

Oil Markets

  • Oil set to post weekly drop on lacklustre demand
  • China’s crude import set to slow in Sept – Refinitiv
  • High diesel inventory cap US refiners’ utilisation rates
  • Brent down 0.4% at $43.88 a barrel (0034GMT)
  • WTI down 0.5% at $41.17

Precious metals

  • Gold gains as stocks pull back; US jobs data in focus
  • Spot gold up 0.3% at $1,935.84/oz. (0304GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.2% at $1,941.80/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans fall from 2-yr high, on course for weekly gain of 1.5%
  • Soybean futures up 1.5% for the week
  • Corn down nearly 1.5% for the week
  • Wheat up nearly 1% for the week

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

  • Nigeria eases Covid-19 measures, international flights resume (5 Sep)
  • Ivory Coast’s Ouattara meets France’s Macron in Paris
  • South Africa’s Eskom reduces power cuts
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Algeria’s Sonatrach says 2 oil leakages occurred at the OK1 pipeline due to bad weather
  • South Africa telecoms regulator delays spectrum release until 2021
  • Nigeria ‘no longer in the business of fixing’ fuel prices, oil minister says
  • Libya interior minister restored to post after talks
  • Nigeria authorities cite need for more Covid-19 test sample collections
  • Nigeria authorities disturbed by low level of coronavirus test sample collection
  • Ex-first daughter of Angola Neto say no wrongdoing by husband in Swiss corruption probe
  • South Africa’s Eskom to reduce power cuts on Friday
  • South Africa franchise restaurant chain Spur to further defer interim dividend payment
  • Beyond Covid, Russia’s state grain trader UGC eyes Algeria & Iraq
  • WHO aiming for 20% of Africa to get initial Covid jabs from access plan
  • Macron to meet Ivory Coast President Ouattara after election u-turn
  • Despite coup, France & allies push on with new Mali task force
  • Ghana court dismisses MTN’s challenge against market regulator
  • South Africa’s Implats earnings up nearly 400% on weak rand, costly metal
  • South Africa’s Comair needs $72 mln and to cut 400 jobs, administrators say
  • Africa-CDC says all countries should join global Covid-19 vaccine effort
  • Long-missed pink flamingos return to Kenya’s Lake Nakuru
  • Russia resumes international flights with Egypt, UAE & Maldives

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 3 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • Asian shares set to rise on broader US rally, dollar gains
  • Wall Street climbs on defensive share gains
  • ADP falls short of expecations
  • Dollar edges away from 2-yr lows
  • Brent down 2.5% at $44.43

Oil Markets

  • Oil holds steady near multi-week lows on demand worries
  • Brent down 0.2% at $44.36 a barrel (0115GMT)
  • WTI up 0.1% at $41.54

Precious metals

  • Gold steadies as dollar stalls, economic concerns persist
  • Spot gold up 0.1% at $1,944.58/oz. (0059GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.3% at $1,950.60/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans gain for 9th straight session on China demand
  • Soybean futures up 0.2% at $9.63-1/2 a bushel (0129GMT)
  • Corn down 0.3% at $3.57-3/4 a bushel
  • Wheat little changed at $5.57-3/4 a bushel

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

  • South Africa’s Mabuza answers questions in parliament
  • Kenya transport CS Macharia answers questions on Covid-19 funds in parliament
  • South Africa Standard Bank PMI Aug-20 [prev. 44.9]
  • Nigeria Stanbic IBTC Bank PMI Aug-20 [prev. 50.4]
  • Kenya, Ghana & other Africa Aug-20 PMIs due
  • Nigeria raises prices of petroleum products
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • South Africa power cuts worsen on cold weather, breakdowns
  • South Africa ready to help insurgency-hit Mozambique, if asked
  • Seven killed in suicide bomb attack in northern Cameroon village
  • US to cut $100 mln in aid to Ethiopia over dam dispute
  • Elderly Guinea president confirms 3rd term bid, vows to represent young people
  • Nigeria’s gasoline price to hit record in naira terms in Sept – PPMC circular
  • UN warns of Libya arms build-up and virus surge
  • Uganda says it has rare gorilla ‘baby boom’ in park in country’s southwest
  • Turkey backs Libya ceasefire but doubtful after Haftar’s rebuff
  • Zimbabwe finds more elephant carcasses, death toll at 22
  • Bad weather, Covid-19 leave over 2.6 mln Malawians short of food
  • Switzerland froze $900 mln from Angola businessman – documents
  • Zimbabwe protest organiser, journalist freed on bail, banned from posting on Twitter
  • ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s family calls for an international trial
  • South Africa’s $30 bln Covid-19 relief package exposed to fraud – auditor general
  • South Africa’s Eskom to ramp up power cuts
  • Russia to propose OPEC+ react to oil demand recovery – Novak
  • Ousted Mali president in hospital for checks, says source close to family
  • Nigeria says can tap mineral wealth despite Covid, unrest
  • South Africa’s Eskom says gross debt rose to $29.3 bln as of March

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 2 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • Stocks gain on brisk US manufacturing survey, stimulus hopes
  • Ex-Japan Asian shares up 0.25%, Nikkei up 0.35%
  • US ISM indicators show strong manufacturing expansion
  • Mnuchin says will talk to Pelosi on stimulus
  • Fed reiterates dovish message
  • Brent up 0.8% at $45.95

Oil Markets

  • Oil gains on US stock draw, economic recovery optimism
  • Brent up 37 cents at $45.95 a barrel (0310GMT)
  • WTI up 34 cents at $43.10
  • US crude stocks fall more than expected – API
  • 71 of 643 US Gulf of Mexico manned platforms remain evacuated
  • OPEC August oil output rise for 2nd month – survey
  • Power demand pushes UAE August oil above OPEC+ quota – sources

Precious metals

  • Gold dips as solid US economic data lifts dollar
  • Spot gold down 0.3% at $1,964.75/oz. (0251GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.4% at $1,971.80/oz.

Grains

  • Wheat eases after rally, losses curbed by strong demand
  • Wheat futures down 0.1% at $5.63-1/2 a bushel (0325GMT)
  • Soybeans down 0.4% at $9.50-3/4 a bushel
  • Corn up 0.1% at $3.58-1/4 a bushel

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

  • Nigeria releases Q2-20 trade statistics
  • Nigeria’s speaker Gbajabiamala visits Ghana over attacks on citizens
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Tunisia parliament approves a technocratic govt
  • Zimbabwe to reopen schools from Sept. 14 for students taking final exams
  • Libya’s NOC chairman discusses oil blockage with Italy’s foreign minister
  • France army says killed civilian by accident in Mali
  • Zimbabwe licences dollar-denominated bourse to lure foreign investors
  • ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s family accuses govt of kidnapping him
  • OPEC August oil output rises for 2nd month as cut eased – survey
  • South Africa state firms seek coronavirus crisis bailouts
  • Russia-Zimbabwe platinum JV to secure phase 1 funding by end of year
  • Morocco’s trade deficit shrinks 18.2% y/y
  • Sudan’s Bashir appears at trial over 1989 coup
  • Zimbabwe suspects elephants died from bacterial infection
  • Grounded by Covid, Nigeria diners get a taste of air travel
  • Two Mauritius citizens killed in accident near site of Japan ship oil spill
  • South Africa state firms seeking billions of rand in bailouts, govt says
  • Blast hits Libya capital, residents say
  • South Africa’s Old Mutual holds off on dividend after half-year loss

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