Author Archives: rafiqraji

About rafiqraji

Dr. Rafiq Raji is managing director & chief economist at Macroafricaintel Investment LLC, an Africa-focused macro research & investment consultancy based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also an adjunct researcher at the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies at Nanyang Business School, Singapore. Dr Raji is an avid writer, with his writings severally featured in prestigious publications like BusinessDay, Africa Investor, The Africa Report, African Business, New African and HowWeMadeItInAfrica. He was previously an Africa Economist at Standard Chartered Bank in London. Before joining the Global Research team at Standard Chartered, Dr. Raji worked with various teams at its Nigerian franchise; gaining experience in credit risk, asset & liability management, and capital markets. Rafiq was also previously Head, Advisory & Capital Markets for the securities brokerage arm of Nigeria's Standard Alliance Group. Prior to that, he had investment banking stints with FBN Capital Limited, Vetiva Capital Management Limited and Africapital Management Limited; all in Lagos, Nigeria. Dr. Raji holds an MBA from the Lagos Business School, Nigeria and a PhD in Financial Economics from Wits Business School at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His personal interests are travel, music, writing, finance & economics, international politics & relations, comparative religious studies, volunteering/philanthropy, film & photography and everything and anything about Africa! He hopes to learn how to play the guitar and speak, read and write Arabic, French and Mandarin. He is also an assiduous and lifetime student of history.

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 | 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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 1 Sep

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

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks edge up after strong China manufacturing survey
  • Dollar hits 2-yr trough as Fed commits to easy policy
  • Despite stock pullback, S&P posts best August since 1986
  • Brent up 0.6% at $45.55/barrel
  • Gold up 0.6% at $1,980/oz.

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices rise on falling US dollar
  • Brent up 1.1% at $45.77 a barrel (0406GMT)
  • WTI up 0.9% at $42.98

Precious metals

  • Gold rises to 2-wk high as dollar stumbles
  • Spot gold up 0.7% at $1,983.77/oz. (0041GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.6% at $1,990/oz.

Grains

  • Corn drops 1% on US crop report, soybeans ease after rally
  • Corn futures down 0.8% at $3.55 a bushel (0335GMT)
  • Soybeans down 0.1% at $9.53 a bushel
  • Wheat up 0.2% at $5.53-1/2 a bushel

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

  • Ghana resumes international flights
  • AfDB chief Adesina takes oath of office for 2nd term
  • South Africa ABSA manufacturing PMI Aug-20 [prev. 51.2]
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Guinea’s Conde accepts nomination to seek third term
  • Algeria approves more measures to ease coronavirus lockdown
  • Sudan signs peace deal with key rebel groups, some hold out
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa seeks to stamp authority on ANC after corruption scandals
  • Zimbabwe says foreign white farmers can apply to get back seized land
  • Niger floods kill 51, drive thousands from their homes
  • Nigeria sets capital rules for mobile money licences
  • South Africa’s ruling party says officials charged with corruption must step aside
  • US, UK, Norway, welcome peace agreement in Sudan
  • ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero arrested on terrorism charges
  • Ivory Coast rain sufficient for developing cocoa pods, say farmers
  • Zimbabwe tobacco sales down 23.5% after poor rains
  • South Africa’s Sasol Lake Charles plant remains shut following Hurricane Laura
  • South Africa’s RCL Foods points to recovery after annual loss
  • Sudan signs historic peace deal with five rebel groups
  • With borders closed, South Africa pins hopes on cash-strapped local tourists
  • AngloGold Ashanti, Barrick Gold to sell ‘Morila the gorilla’ stakes

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 31 Aug

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

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks reach 29-mth top, China services surprisingly strong
  • Nikkei rallies, hopes new PM will stick with stimulus
  • China service PMI strong, blue chips highest since mid-2015
  • Dollar near 2-yr trough as Fed commits to easy policy
  • Risk of future inflation pushes up US long-term yields
  • Brent up 26 cents at $46.07/barrel, gold at $1,969/oz.

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices edge up on stimulus support despite ample supplies
  • Brent set for 5th monthly gain; 4th mth for WTI
  • Hedge funds cut bullish bets on US crude – CFTC
  • Brent up 0.6% at $46.08 a barrel (0038GMT)
  • WTI up 0.3% at $43.11

Precious metals

  • Gold hits near 2-wk high on dollar weakness, dovish Fed
  • Spot gold up 0.3% at $1,969.98/oz. (0304GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.2% at $1,978.70/oz.

Grains

  • Corn set for biggest monthly gain since May 2019 on US dryness
  • Corn futures up 0.8% at $3.62-1/4 a bushel (0304GMT)
  • Soybeans up 1.5% at $9.64-2/3 a bushel
  • Wheat up 4% so far in August

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

  • Central Bank of Nigeria resumes FX sales to BDCs
  • South Africa M3 Jul-20 [fcst. 10.3% yy, prev. 11.1%]
  • South Africa PSCE Jul-20 [fcst. 5.6% yy, prev. 5.6%]
  • South Africa trade balance Jul-20 [prev. ZAR46.63B]
  • Kenya, Uganda & Zambia release August inflation data
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Ghana to reopen international air borders from Sept. 1, says president
  • Schools to reopen in Nigeria’s Lagos as Covid-19 cases decline
  • Ten militants and five civilians killed in east Congo violence – army, local leader
  • Egypt detains second suspect in alleged rape case, three more held in Lebanon
  • Mauritius fishermen battle to save dozens dolphins near oil spill
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa to appear before ruling party’s integrity commission
  • Angola to join oil and extractives transparency group
  • Thousands protest in Mauritius over dead dolphins, demand resignations
  • Namibia opens airports and schools but extends overnight curfew
  • Influential Libya interior minister suspended amid protests
  • Acting leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood arrested in Cairo
  • Mali’s neighbours tell junta to transfer power to transitional govt
  • Plaintiffs in Sierra Leone diamond mine lawsuit request freeze of Steinmetz subsidiary’s assets
  • Sierra Leoneans sue govt for alleged environmental failings at diamond mine
  • Sierra Leone community’s suit against diamond miner shows activist trend
  • Tanzania opposition alleges irregularities in candidates’ enrollment
  • South Africa’s ex-leader Zuma, accused of graft, hits out at successor
  • Former CAR interim leader to run in December poll
  • At least two students killed during exams in eastern Congo
  • Western diplomats express deep concern over Zimbabwe crisis
  • ECOWAS agrees Mali’s transitional govt to last only one year: Nigerian presidency
  • South Africa sees worst power cuts in record in 2020, research shows
  • UN says life of Congo’s Nobel Laureate doctor in danger
  • Renewed tensions over commercial farming on Uganda abandoned land
  • West Africa leaders to push Mali junta to hand over power within a year
  • Kenya Airways losses deepen, expects more challenges ahead
  • Uptake of South Africa’s Covid loan scheme likely to stay minimal – banking association
  • South Africa’s coronavirus loan scheme likely to pay out only $1.5 bln by 2021 – banking association
  • Where state is weak, Mali militants broker talks between rival clans

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 28 Aug

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

Global Markets

  • Treasury yields, dollar gain after Fed’s historic policy shift
  • Dollar gains vs yen as Fed pushes new strategy
  • Longer-dated Treasuries yields rise, curve steepens
  • Asian shares mixed in choppy trade
  • Brent down to $45.07, gold up to $1,935.07

Oil Markets

  • Oil drifts down as US producers, refiners avoid worst of storm
  • Port of Houston set to reopen
  • Refiners assess plants after storm passes
  • Brent down 2 cents at $45.07 a barrel (0202GMT)
  • WTI down 6 cents at $42.98

Precious metals

  • Gold recovers some lost ground as slowdown fears persist
  • Spot gold up 0.4% at $1,936.64/oz. (0316GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.6% at $1,943.20/oz.

Grains

  • Corn set for 3rd week of gains on Chinese demand; soybeans, wheat firm
  • Wheat on track for fourth consecutive session of gains
  • Corn up more than 5% for the week; up almost 12% over 3 weeks
  • Soybeans up more than 4% this week
  • All 3 markets set for third straight weekly gain

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

  • 2nd extraordinary ECOWAS virtual summit on Mali
  • Zuma ally & South Africa’s ruling ANC scribe Magashule appears before integrity committee
  • Central Bank of Nigeria resumes FX sales to BDCs
  • Ethiopia parlimentary elections (29 Aug)
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Key African countries on lockdown or restricted; subdued economic activity
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Gambia president extends state of emergency as Covid-19 cases surge
  • Oil not found in dead Mauritius dolphins – preliminary autopsy
  • Glencore puts entire stake in Mopani on the table in talks with Zambia – sources
  • Mali junta frees ousted president Keita ahead of regional summit
  • Scientists map out mosquito immune system to help fight malaria
  • Nigeria to resume international flights from Sept 5 – aviation authority
  • Nigeria might fall into recession as virus takes toll, budget office says
  • Greece ratifies deal with Egypt, Turkey to hold military drills in east Med
  • Malawi to lift Covid-19 air travel, school restrictions from September
  • South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater reinstates dividend as higher metals prices boost earnings
  • Militants kill four Mali soldiers in ambush
  • WHO: broad population Covid-19 testing not always useful
  • Record floods cause deaths and widespread damage in Sudan
  • Egypt detains suspect in high-profile rape case
  • AfDB re-elects Akinwumi Adesina as president
  • Covid-19 reveals risky life on the buses for Ethiopia child conductors
  • Libya’s Tripoli govt imposes Covid-19 curfew after protests escalate
  • Nigeria targest non-oil exporters to boost FX as recession looms
  • South Africa’s Denel not planning to seek further bailouts
  • Angola’s energy roadmap aims to reverse oil output decline
  • Doctors in Kenya capital end strike over pay delays, lack of PPE
  • Senegal’s first female pro-surfer draws others in her wake
  • Mali transition must be quick, France military action to continue, French foreign minister says
  • Delivery Hero buys InstaShop to expand in Middle East, North Africa

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 27 Aug

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

Global Markets

  • Asia shares take on breather, hope for flexible Fed
  • Sino-US tensions send a chill across Asia shares
  • Markets wager Fed to be more flexible on inflation
  • Oil underpinned as hurricane closes US refineries
  • Brent up 5 cents at $45.69, gold down to $1,943/oz.

Oil Markets

  • Oil treads water as huge Gulf of Mexico storm shuts output
  • Storm risk cushioned by high US oil, product stockpiles
  • Market awaits post-storm damage assessments
  • Brent up 5 cents at $45.69 a barrel (0148GMT)
  • WTI down 4 cents at $43.35

Precious metals

  • Gold slips as investors book profit ahead of Powell’s speech
  • Silver fall nearly 2%
  • Spot gold down 0.6% at $1,941.43/oz. (0315GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2% at $1,949.50/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans up for 4th session on strong Chinese demand, corn rebounds
  • Soybean futures up 0.1% at $9.25 a bushel (0354GMT)
  • Corn up 0.5% at $3.56 a bushel
  • Wheat up 0.1% at $5.40-1/2 a bushel

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

  • Kenya eases restrictions on social gatherings, extends curfew
  • Kenya senate adhoc committee on county revenue allocation presents recommendations to resolve standoff
  • Kenya parliament interrogates KEMSA chief over Covid-19 funds scandal
  • 10th anniversary of Kenya’s 2010 constitution; awaited BBI report to be in focus
  • South Africa producer inflation Jul-20 [fcst. 1.1% yy, prev. 0.5%]
  • AfDB 2020 annual meetings; 25-27 Aug [Adesina expected to be re-elected chief]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Key African countries on lockdown or restricted; subdued economic activity
  • Covid-19 updates by authorities across the continent

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

  • Suspects in high-profile rape case fled Egypt in July – prosecutors
  • Namibia apartheid politician turned independence advocate dies of Covid-19
  • Mali junta seeks 3-yr post-coup transition, West Africans say one is enough
  • EU freezes Mali training missions after military coup, denies responsibility
  • West Africa mediators proposed 12-mth transitional govt in Mali
  • Pompeo discusses Libya conflict, Iran with UAE counterpart
  • Tanzania president Magufuli to face 14 challengers in Oct elections
  • Nigeria says Q3 & Q4 GDP to reflect further economic slowdown – presidency
  • 17 dead dolphins wash up on Mauritius beach near oil spill site
  • Kenya extends coronavirus curfew as cases rise outside capital
  • Kenya condemns women to ‘death by unsafe abortion’, campaigners warn
  • South Africa’s Adcock Ingram scraps divided on weak outlook
  • Kenya’s President Kenyatta extends nationwide curfew by 30 days
  • Nigeria cocoa output to fall in 2020/21 on virus, dry weather – cocoa association
  • Ivory Coast president sees growth slowing to 1.8% in 2020
  • South Africa approves AngloGold’s Harmony sale but with conditions
  • EU freezes Mali training missions after coup
  • Malawi traditional leader orders chiefs to dissolve lockdown child marriages
  • Congo army says militia kills 20 in east
  • South Africa union group plans strike on Oct. 7 over corruption
  • Botswana sees risk of no De Beers sales deal by end-2020

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