macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 18 Feb

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

Global Markets
• Facebook unfriends Australia
• Researchers urge delay in administering Pfizer vaccine’s 2nd dose, cite strong data
• No electricity, no water, Texans struggle through historic cold with more dark days ahead
• Oil prices climb on fears Texas freeze may hamper US crude output
• Brent up 1.4% at $65.23, WTI up 1.1% at $61.80 (0524GMT)
• Gold prices off 2-1/2-mth low as US treasury yields pull back
• Spot gold up 0.4% at $1,782.64/oz., futures up 0.6% at $1,783.10 (0336GMT)

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handles @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica]
• Nigeria GDP Q4-20 [fcst. -4.2% yy, prev. -3.6%]
• Nigeria GDP FY-20 [fcst. -3.1% yy, prev. 2.3%]
• Nigeria’s security chiefs meet regional leaders over insecurity, ethnic tensions
• Kenya’s Uhuru & Raila campaign for BBI, amid Ruto pushback
• Kenya counties debate & vote on BBI bill [7 approvals, 1 rejection thus far; 24 approvals required]
• 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
Reuters
• US calls for fair and transparent legal process for ‘Hotel Rwanda hero’
• India to test travellers from Brazil, South Africa, UK after detecting new virus strains
• Gunmen kill student, kidnap 42 in attack on Nigeria school
• South Africa’s Tiger Brands sees 20% recovery in 6-mth profit
• Trial of ‘Hotel Rwanda hero’ begins amid wrangles over jurisdiction
• Workers missing after ArcelorMittal South Africa site accident
• ‘I feel blessed’, says doctor as South Africa launches vaccination drive
• Sudan summons ambassador to Ethiopia for consultations – spokesman
• Nigeria’s president dispatches security chiefs to rescue abducted students
• Zambia scales back projects to reduce debt exposure, central bank says
• Nigeria students design coronavirus care robot
• Hunger increases in South Africa despite covid-19 welfare payments
• Egypt plans reopening of Libya embassy shut since 2014

Bloomberg
• Pfizer shot produces fewer antibodies versus South Africa strain
• Africa nations are already hiking rates with more to come
• South Africa covid variant tied to 16-fold boost in cases in Zambia
• Zimbabwe to register China’s Sinovac vaccine as program starts
• Billionaire Sawiris joins Egypt’s gold rush after rules relaxed
• Ghana pays half its debt to power producers with $750 mln
• Inflation bets put South Africa rate hike back on the table
• Namibia central bank holds interest rate at record-low 3.75%
• Gunmen abduct students, staff from school in central Nigeria
• Zanzibar’s vice president Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad dies
• Bitcoin’s $50,000 FOMO is overpowering bankers
• Illegally imported Cuba covid-19 drug to be trialed in South Africa
• Zambia central bank hikes as it sees inflation risks to upside
• More than 50% of South Africans may have had covid, insurer says

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

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