macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 17 Mar

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

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks fall in volatile session after historic Wall St. plunge
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific ex-Japan down 0.5%
  • Nikkei down 0.06%, KOSPI off 2.16%
  • Australia shares up 2.73%
  • Market focus on COVID-19 fiscal response
  • Flight to cash; confidence in gold suffers

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices jump $1 as sharp falls draw investors, bargain buyers
  • Brent up 1.8% at $30.60 a barrel (0410GMT)
  • WTI up 3.7% at $29.76

Precious metals

  • Gold extends losses from Monday’s meltdown on flight for cash
  • Spot gold down 0.2% at $1,511.30/oz. (0039GMT)
  • US gold futures up 1.7% at $1,511.50/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans recover from 10-mth low, gains capped by virus worries
  • Soybeans rise for first time in 5 sessions, corn ticks up
  • Wheat struggles as spreading virus raises economic worries
  • Soybeans up 0.8% at $8.28 a bushel (0251GMT)
  • Corn up 0.3% at $3.55-3/4 a bushel
  • Wheat unchanged at $4.98 a bushel

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

  • Nigeria’s ruling APC top officials meet
  • Nigeria inflation Feb-20 [fcst. 12.2% yy, prev. 12.1%]
  • South Africa central bank MPC meeting; 17-19 Mar
  • Nigeria’s supreme court rules on review application on Zamfara gubernatorial election [Negative; albeit recent precedents positive]

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

  • More African countries confirm first coronavirus cases as Jack Ma pledges aid
  • Tunisia suspends all international flights, closes its land borders
  • Egypt reports 2 deaths and 40 new cases of coronavirus to a total of 166 – ministry
  • Nigeria to delay non-critical spending, defer eurobond sale – finmin
  • Libya’s oil production at 91,108 barrels per day as of March 15
  • Mozambique queried $535 mln loan guarantee, VTB says in court filing
  • Libya’s state oil firm says jet fuel illegally shipped to east
  • Egypt cuts interest rates by 300 bps in face of coronavirus
  • Sudan closes airports and borders except for humanitarian and commercial shipments over coronavirus fears
  • WHO calls for “change of mindset” to overcome pandemic shortages
  • South Africa assets plunge as coronavirus panic worsens
  • Africa Oil – Weak demand weighs, Angola programmes due
  • AngloGold Ashanti tightens quarantine policy after Ghana worker gets coronavirus
  • South Africa cenbank: rates decision announcement scheduled for Thursday
  • Sudan declares public health emergency amid fears of coronavirus spread
  • Tunisia’s Tunisair to lose $24.6 mln this month, CEO says
  • Algeria to suspend travel with Europe and Africa
  • Egypt to halt flights from Thursday to stem spread of coronavirus
  • Nigeria’s central bank to create fund to fight coronavirus
  • Libya’s NOC says jet fuel illegally shipped to east
  • World Bank offers $60 mln to Kenya to fight coronavirus outbreak
  • Libya’s Tripoli-based govt agrees $27.9 bln budget – source
  • Kenya’s Safaricom waives some M-Pesa transfer fees amid virus outbreak
  • South Africa’s will have to “shift” spending to tackle coronavirus – finmin
  • Nigeria’s central bank to create health fund in coronavirus package – governor
  • South Africa’s Taste Holdings to liquidate food business, hitting 770 jobs
  • Somali confirms first case of coronavirus – health minister
  • Tunisia land border with Libya closed – minister
  • Morocco to close all mosques over coronavirus fears – statement
  • Tanzania confirms first case of coronavirus – ministry
  • OPEC+ calls off technical talks, mediation attempts fail – sources
  • Conferences, events cancelled at South Africa’s Sun International over virus fears
  • Morocco to close non-essential public places starting today – Interior Ministry
  • Zimbabwe shuts down main source of hard currency as local dollar crumbles
  • Kenya raids shop selling fake coronavirus kits as Liberia confirms first case
  • Uganda shilling weakens due to commercial bank dollar demand
  • South Africa consumer confidence sinks to 2-1/2 year low – survey
  • Kenya shilling weakens as coronavirus concerns weigh
  • South Africa’s Old Mutual wants new CEO within months; shares drop after earnings
  • South Africa’s Taste Holdings to liquidate three food businesses
  • South Africa’s Sun International reports 91% jump in full-year profit
  • South Africa’s Old Mutual reports 7% rise in full-year profit
  • Rwanda says number of coronavirus cases rises to five

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

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