macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 19 Feb

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

Global Markets
• Biden debuts at G7 with vaccines, economy & China in focus
• Rich nations stockpiling a billion more covid-19 shots than needed: report
• Texas power plants back online, but 325,000 households still in the dark
• WhatsApp to move ahead with privacy update despite backlash
• Asia shares slip from record highs on rising bond yields, weak US data
• Oil drops as investors gauge big chill impact on US refineries, OPEC+ output rise
• Brent down 1.6% at $62.90, WTI down 1.9% at $59.38 (0421GMT)
• Gold slips to over 7-mth low as rising yields dent appeal
• Spot gold down 0.4% at $1,769.03/oz., futures down 0.6% at $1,765.30 (0250GMT)

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handles @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica]
• Nigeria oil minister Sylva on OPEC+ compliance mission to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville & South Sudan
• Niger holds runoff presidential election (21 Feb)
• 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 [11 approvals thus far, 13 more needed]
• 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
• Continuity vs. change as Niger votes in presidential run-off
• Pfizer study another worry for South Africa vaccine rollout
• World Bank names first African head of IFC private sector finance arm
• Pfizer plans to test covid-19 vaccine booster targeting the South Africa variant
• At least 18 killed in attacks in Burkina Faso and Mali
• Nigeria economy contracted 1.92% in 2020 – stats office
• Gunmen kill student, kidnap 42 in attack on Nigeria school
• Nigeria fuel subsidy hangover bodes ill for state finances
• Zimbabwe central bank raises main lending rate to 40%
• Zimbabwe starts covid-19 vaccinations, vice-president gets first shot
• Africa covid-19 deaths surpass 100,000 after 2nd wave
• Pfizer says South Africa variant could significantly reduce protective antibodies
• More than 11,000 ebola vaccines expected in Guinea this weekend
• Spain to make quarantine obligatory for travellers from South Africa, Brazil
• Kenya Nairobi airport seen ready to switch from fruit to vaccines

Bloomberg
• Bitcoin nears $1 tln value as crypto jump tops other assets
• South Africa vaccine rollout seen slower after Astra setback
• Guinea to receive ebola shots to quell new outbreak by April
• South Africa seeks to protect freight rail from extreme weather
• US leadership can help end the crisis in Ethiopia
• World Bank makes Diop first African to head private sector’s IFC
• Zimbabwe’s central bank raises key interest rate to 40%
• Nigeria unexpectedly exits recession
• South Africa wary of Sputnik, CanSino shots because of HIV risk
• Zimbabwe court bans mobile operator’s ‘depressing’ covid texts
• Nigeria approves AstraZeneca vaccines for emergency use
• Namibia proceeds with AstraZeneca shot despite covid-19 strain
• Egypt plan to supply Europe LNG gets boost as plant reopens

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

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