#Global #Markets | 14 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

0030GMT   Australia Unemployment rate (Nov-17) (act. 5.4%, est. 5.4%, prev. 5.4%)
0030GMT   Australia Employment change (Nov-17) (act. 61.6K, est. 19.2K, prev. 7.8K)
0030GMT   Japan Nikkei manufacturing PMI (flash) (Dec-17) (act. 54.2, prev. 53.6)
0200GMT   China Industrial production (Nov-17) (act. 6.1% yy, est. 6.2%, prev. 6.2%)
0200GMT   China Retail sales (Nov-17) (act. 10.2% yy, est. 10.3%, prev. 10.0%)
0200GMT   China Fixed asset investment (YTD) (Nov-17) (act. 7.2% yy, est. 7.2%, prev. 7.3%)
0430GMT   Japan Industrial production (final) (Oct-17) (est. 5.9% yy, prev. 2.6%)
0630GMT   India WPI inflation (Nov-17) (prev. 3.6% yy)
0800GMT   South Africa Current account (Q3-17) (est. R-87.3B, prev. R-110B)
0830GMT   Germany Markit composite PMI (flash) (Dec-17) (est. 57.3, prev. 57.3)
0900GMT   Euro Area Markit composite PMI (flash) (Dec-17) (est. 57.2, prev. 57.5)
0930GMT   South Africa PPI (Nov-17) (est. 5.0% yy, prev. 5.0%) [fcst: 5.2%]
0930GMT   UK Retail sales (Nov-17) (est. 0.3% yy, prev. -0.3%)
1200GMT   UK BoE interest rate decision (est. 0.5%, prev. 0.5%)
1200GMT   UK BoE QE (est. £435B, prev. £435B)
1245GMT   Euro Area ECB interest rate decision (est. 0%, prev. 0%)
1245GMT   Euro Area ECB Deposit facility rate (est. -0.4%, prev. -0.4%)
1330GMT   US Retail sales (Nov-17) (est. 0.3% mm, prev. 0.2%)
1330GMT   US Initial jobless claims (9 Dec) (est. 240K, prev. 236K)
1445GMT   US Markit composite PMI (Dec-17) (prev. 54.5)
1500GMT   US Business inventories (Oct-17) (est. -0.1% mm, prev. 0%)

#Africa #Markets | 13 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global markets

  • Asian shares flat
  • Fed widely expected to hike interest rates
  • Investors await outcome of Alabama Senate election

Oil markets

  • Oil recovers on big U.S. crude stock drawdown
  • U.S. crude stocks fall by 7.4 mln bbls – API
  • U.S. gasoline, distillate stocks increase – API

Precious metals

  • Gold prices nearly flat ahead of Fed meeting outcome
  • Spot gold was steady at $1,243.10 an ounce (0051GMT), after marking its lowest since 20 July at $1,235.92 in the last session
  • U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 pct at $1,245.40

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

  • 0800GMT   South Africa Inflation rate (Nov-17) (est. 4.7% yy, prev. 4.8%) [fcst: 4.9%]
  • 0800GMT   South Africa Inflation rate (Nov-17) (est. 0.2% mm, prev. 0.3%) [fcst: 0.4%]
  • 1100GMT   South Africa Retail sales (Oct-17) (est. 5.2% yy, prev. 5.4%) [fcst: 5.3%]
  • Uganda interest rate decision (prev. 9.5%) [fcst: 9.5%]

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

  • France-based Miner AMR starts bauxite production in Guinea
  • Afreximbank pledges up to $1.5 billion to post-Mugabe Zimbabwe
  • Nigeria court drops most corruption charges against Senate president
  • Nigeria central bank injects $210 mln into currency market
  • EU pushes to curb Africa migration more, still split on hosting refugees
  • Guinea allowed $650 mln in non-concessional loans under IMF programme
  • Liberia to hold run-off vote on Dec. 26
  • Amnesty says EU is complicit in violations of migrant rights in Libya
  • South Africa’s Transnet hires banks for US dollar bond
  • Moody’s says challenging operating conditions keeps 2018 outlook for Africa banks negative
  • Namibia’s economic growth seen contracting in 2017 – IMF
  • South Africa’s Zuma rejects reports his office is drafting emergency laws
  • Zimbabwe voters need more time to register after turmoil – parties
  • South Africa’s nearly man Ramaphosa may lead country at last
  • “Fierce and formidable” Dlamini-Zuma eyes South Africa’s presidency
  • Tight race as South Africa’s ANC prepares to elect Zuma successor
  • One Planet summit turns to private sector for climate action
  • Major Nigeria oil union to meet government before planned strikes
  • Namibia’s economic growth seen at 4 pct in 2019/20 financial year – IMF
  • Mauritius central bank names Googoolye new governor
  • IMF says Sudan must float currency to boost growth, investment
  • South Africa’s revenue agency concerned about falling tax compliance
  • Libya’s Nafusa Oil operations hoping to pump 10,000 bpd in Ghadames basin
  • Nigeria plans to repay $647 mln T.bills, yields drop
  • Unfazed by OPEC, Libya and Nigeria seek to boost oil output
  • South Africa’s October manufacturing output up 2.2 pct y/y
  • Cholera resurges in Zambia capital Lusaka, WHO says
  • Botswana’s 2017/18 budget in surplus at half-year mark
  • Yields mixed in weekly South Africa government bond auction
  • South Africa’s trade department, company regulator to probe Steinhoff
  • Zimbabwe’s Mugabe flies to Singapore, first trip since ouster

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

#Global #Markets | 13 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

0700GMT   Germany Inflation rate (final) (Nov-17) (est. 1.8% yy, prev. 1.6%)
0800GMT   South Africa Inflation rate (Nov-17) (est. 4.7% yy, prev. 4.8%) [fcst: 4.9%]
0800GMT   South Africa Inflation rate (Nov-17) (est. 0.2% mm, prev. 0.3%) [fcst: 0.4%]
0930GMT    UK Claimant count change (Nov-17) (est. 0.4K, prev. 1.1K)
0930GMT   UK Unemployment rate (Oct-17) (est. 4.3%, prev. 4.3%)
1000GMT   Euro Area Employment change (Q3-17) (est. 0.4% qq, prev. 0.4%)
1000GMT   Euro Area Industrial production (Oct-17) (est. 3.4% yy, prev. 3.3%)
1100GMT   South Africa Retail sales (Oct-17) (est. 5.2% yy, prev. 5.4%) [fcst: 5.3%]
1330GMT   US Inflation rate (Nov-17) (est. 2.2% yy, prev. 2.0%)
1530GMT   US EIA crude oil stocks change (8 Dec) (est. -3.4M, prev. -5.6M)
1900GMT   US Fed interest rate decision (est. 1.5%, prev. 1.25%)
1930GMT   US Fed press conference

N.B

  • Saudi Arabia OPEC monthly report
  • Uganda Interest rate decision [fcst: unchanged at 9.5%]

 

#Africa #Markets | 12 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global markets

  • Asia shares take a time out, Brent breaks above $65
  • Japanese shares consolidate after 25-year closing peak
  • Upbeat China credit figures underpin mood in Asia
  • Dollar near 1-month top on yen ahead of Fed rate call

Oil markets

  • Brent crude jumps to highest since mid-2015 after North Sea pipeline outage
  • North Sea’s Forties pipeline shut after cracks found
  • Forties can carry 450,000 bpd of crude oil

Precious metals

  • Gold slightly higher ahead of Fed meeting
  • Spot gold was up about 0.1 pct at $1,242.72 an ounce (0049GMT), after losing 0.5 pct on Monday
  • US gold futures were 0.2 pct lower at $1,244.40

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

  • South Africa manufacturing production (Oct-17) (prev. -1.6% yy) [fcst. -0.7%]

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

  • WTO unlikely to reach final fishery deal during conference – spokesman
  • Intrepid Mines Ltd to sell Zambia assets
  • Morocco announces auto industry deals worth $1.45 bln
  • Amnesty accuses EU of abetting migrant rights violations in Libya
  • South Africa poultry group calls for probe of forced labour in Brazil
  • Djibouti sees GDP growth of 7 pct in 2018
  • Burundi will raise funds from citizens to pay for 2020 election
  • Russia’s Putin, Egypt’s Sisi discuss restart of flights, sign nuclear deal
  • Average yields on Egypt 3- and 7-year T-bonds fall
  • ArcelorMittal South Africa selects former executive Verster as CEO
  • Tunisia trade deficit widens to record $5.8 billion
  • Russia’s Rosatom says planned Egypt nuclear plant to cost $21 bln
  • ICC reports Jordan to UN Security Council for not arresting Sudan’s Bashir
  • Yield steady in Egypt 1-year T-bill auction
  • South Africa prosecutors give Zuma Jan 31 deadline to make representations in graft case
  • UN seeks 1,300 places for refugees from Libya
  • Ivory Coast offering $26,000 buy-outs to reduce army size
  • Siemen returns to Libya with 700 mln euro power deals
  • Offshore investors net buyers of South Africa stocks, sell bonds
  • Egypt’s Orascom Telecom studying entry into Africa agriculture industries

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

macroafricaintel | Call me Mr President

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

On 12 December, a “president” would have been inaugurated in Mombasa, Kenya. At least, that was the plan. But the president of where or what? Because just weeks before, one was sworn-in. His name is Uhuru Kenyatta. And he looks nothing like the one that could have taken another oath of “office” this week. I have been at my wits’ end trying to fathom what Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga was trying to achieve by committing what could on the face of it have been deemed a treasonable offence. Mr Odinga lost to President Kenyatta in the August elections which was annulled by the Supreme Court over irregularities. As he did not participate in the second one, which incidentally was validated by the court, it beggars belief on what legal basis his purported presidential inauguration would have stood upon. With some reflection and after reading commentaries here and there, I came around to an understanding of what he might have been trying to achieve. A man could call himself anything. If I wrote in this column that I am the “president” of this page, who is to query me? Some companies entitle their chief executive “president”, for instance. In Nigeria, the head of the Senate is what again? Mr. President. But is Bukola Saraki, the president of the Nigerian Senate, the president of Nigeria? Surely not. So Mr Odinga might actually be on to something I thought. Since he is almost assured of the support of about half the Kenyan population, designating himself as “president” of some assemblage, a “peoples’ assembly”, say, might just do the trick of getting on the nerves of his rival in the presidential palace. In a nutshell, what Mr Odinga had planned today may actually have passed the test of legal scrutiny. At least, so I thought; until a press release by his party over the weekend postponing the swearing-in stated he would have been inaugurated as “President of the Republic of Kenya.” Say we ignore this about-face. Let us also assume he was not about to be foolhardy to the point of actually declaring himself the President of Kenya. With some creativity, he could actually get away with something close to the real deal.

Much ado about a title
Going around the country as the “president” of “something” that everyone knows represents about half of Kenya could actually be the perfect revenge from the scion of a family forever at odds (and always at the losing end it seems) with the Kenyattas. A good analogy can be found in China a long time ago. While Deng Xiaoping was the de facto leader of China in the late 1970s and for most of the 1980s, he was never officially head of state. At one point, the only title he had was that of honorary chairman of the China Bridge Association. Even then, he was able to wield tremendous power. Mr Deng proved the point that power is not so much about the title as it is about legitimacy. It seems to me Mr Odinga’s plan should be to hold on to the half of Kenya that he is now almost sure would pledge fealty to him if he asked. That way, as he and his party “resist” and ask for electoral reforms, they would be able to sustain the current momentum until the next elections. Mr Kenyatta and his men are not likely to sit idly by while he does this, though. Opposition strategist, David Ndii, was recently arrested by the authorities, likely in the hope that incriminating evidence would be found against him, Mr Odinga and the other principals of the National Super Alliance (NASA). As Mr Ndii recounts after his release on bail, they did not succeed.

Catch-22
Had the “president” been sworn-in today as planned, the president (which one now?) would have had little choice but to arrest and prosecute him for treason. Until the postponement was announced, I came to the resolution that perhaps Mr Odinga reckoned it would not be such a bad idea to be in the news in that manner. After all, he has been in prison before. In the event, attention would be drawn from whatever potential good Mr Kenyatta might be doing for the people towards the likely spectacle of a treason trial. He could still do some sort of oath-taking within the confines of the freedoms of association, expression and so on. But when the swearing-in eventually takes place, if ever, how should Mr Kenyatta respond? If he arrests and prosecutes Mr Odinga, the subsequent drama would be a tremendous distraction. If he does nothing, Mr Odinga would increasingly look presidential. Maybe it should end with the postponement.

Also published in my BusinessDay Nigeria newspaper column (Tuesdays). See link viz. http://www.businessdayonline.com/call-mr-president/

#Global #Markets | 12 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

0600GMT   Japan Machine tool orders (Nov-17) (prev. 49.9% yy)
0930GMT   UK Inflation rate (Nov-17) (est. 3.0% yy, prev. 3.0%)
1000GMT   Euro Area ZEW economic sentiment index (Dec-17) (est. 30.2, prev. 30.9)
1000GMT   Germany ZEW economic sentiment index (Dec-17) (est. 17.9, prev. 18.7)
1100GMT   South Africa Manufacturing production (Oct-17) (prev. -1.6% yy) [fcst: -0.7%]
1100GMT   US NFIB business optimism index (Nov-17) (est. 104.6, prev. 103.8)
1130GMT   India Current account (Q3-17) (prev. $-14.3B)
1200GMT   India Industrial production (Oct-17) (est. 4.2% yy, prev. 3.8%)
1200GMT   India Inflation rate (Nov-17) (prev. 3.6% yy)
1330GMT   US PPI (Nov-17) (est. 2.9% yy, prev. 2.8%)
1900GMT   US Monthly budget statement (Nov-17) (est. $-135.2B, prev. $-63B)
2130GMT   US API crude oil inventories (8 Dec) (prev. -5.481M)

#Africa #Markets | 11 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global markets

  • Bitcoin futures makes firm debut, swing above launch price
  • Dollar near 1-month high against yen
  • Fed expected to hike rates this week; BoE, ECB also meeting

Oil markets

  • Oil prices fall in early Monday trading
  • Latest rise in U.S. rig count a factor

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

  • Kenya Supreme Court to release detailed judgement on presidential election re-run today
  • Uganda interest rate decision (13 Dec)
  • South Africa consumer inflation rate (Nov-17) (13 Dec)
  • South Africa retail sales (Oct-17) (14 Dec)
  • South Africa current account (Q3 2017) (14 Dec)
  • South Africa producer inflation rate (Nov-17) (14 Dec)

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

  • Kenya opposition says postpones “swearing-in” of alternative president
  • Egypt’s inflation falls to lowest this year
  • Egypt’s core inflation falls to 25.54 pct yr/yr in Nov – c.bank
  • Egypt to sign contracts for nuclear power plant during Putin’s visit
  • Congo lower house adopts new mining code that increases taxes
  • Average yields on rise on Egypts’ 3- and 9-month T-bill
  • Sudan govt imposes temporary ban on 19 imports to support currency
  • Egypt’s current account deficit narrows to $1.6 bln in Q1 2017/18
  • Rwanda’s inflation declined to 2.2 pct in November
  • African Development Bank to lend $100 mln to Guinea bauxite mine
  • Libya political, oil and bank heads discuss funds to lift crude oil
  • Kenya lecturers end strike, say deal reached with government
  • Zimbabwe names diplomat Isaac Moyo as top spy
  • Mauritius needs to clarify monetary policy – IMF
  • IMF completes Ivory Coast review, will disburse $137 mln
  • Moody’s changes Democratic Republic of Congo’s outlook to negative
  • Ethiopia inflation surges to 13.6 pct in November
  • South Africa court rules Zuma appointment of state prosecutor invalid
  • Head of Zimbabwe election commission quits, source says
  • Nigeria finance minister says gave no order to halt Oando inquiry
  • New board of South Africa’s Eskom wins cabinet approval
  • South Africa’s Zuma to appeal court ruling on state prosecutor
  • Tanzania-Zambia railway authority resumes transportation of copper
  • Fitch cuts Nigeria’s 2017 GDP growth forecast to 1 pct
  • Tanzania’s inflation slips to 4.4 pct in November
  • South Africa 3-month T-bill average yield falls to 7.64 pct
  • Zimbabwe court postpones US citizen’s subversion case to January
  • Mauritius turns to Saudi Arabia fuel cargoes after court bans India supplies
  • Egypt signs $1.15 bln World Bank loan

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