African Markets – Factors to watch on March 21 By Reuters



© Reuters. African Markets – Factors to watch on March 21

The following company announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect African markets on Wednesday.

– – – – – EVENTS: *African states sign deal to usher in new giant trade bloc *Kenya Airways releases earnings results for the nine months to end December 2017

GLOBAL MARKETS A hush settled over financial markets on Wednesday as investors anticipated a quarter point hike in the Federal Reserve’s policy rate and awaited guidance on how many more to expect this year, while trade war fears kept export nations’ currencies on edge. MKTS/GLOB

WORLD OIL PRICES Oil prices rose on Wednesday, supported by tensions in the Middle East and healthy global demand, although rising U.S. output from the United States continued to weigh on markets. O/R

EMERGING MARKETS For the top emerging markets news, double click on STOCKS For the latest news on African stocks, click on .J

SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS South Africa’s rand gained was firmer on Tuesday as positive inflation figures and the likelihood the country would avoid a downgrade by Moody’s soothed sentiment ahead of an anticipated lending rates increase in the United States. CENTRAL BANK Nigeria’s central bank plans to hold its next interest rate meeting April 3-4, a spokesman said on Monday, contingent on the upper house of parliament confirming the president’s nominees for the monetary policy committee (MPC). MARKETS The Kenyan shilling KES= was firm against the dollar on Tuesday, a day after the central bank cut its rate to 9.5 percent from 10 percent, traders said. FACEBOOK/CAMBRIDGEANALYTICA

Kenya’s ruling Jubilee party said on Tuesday it had paid for “branding” in the 2017 presidential election from SCL, affiliate of consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which is at the centre of an election manipulation scandal involving Facebook .

KENYA ECONOMY Kenya’s central bank hopes its surprise interest rate cut this week will encourage firms to invest more to spur lagging economic growth, Governor Patrick Njoroge said on Tuesday. RHINO The world’s last male northern white rhino has died, the Kenyan conservancy taking care of it said, leaving only two females of its subspecies alive in the world, although scientists still hope to save it from extinction by in vitro fertilisation. EUROBOND Ghana is set to name four banks as lead advisers for a planned sale of up to $2.5 billion of Eurobonds, expected by June, sources close to the transaction said on Tuesday. BANK Ghana’s central bank has appointed accounting firm KPMG as administrator for Unibank to save it from imminent collapse, Governor Ernest Addison said on Tuesday. COCOA Ghana’s government has called off plans to cut how much it pays cocoa farmers and will look at other ways to address volatile market prices, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo said on Tuesday. INBEV Anheuser-Busch InBev , the world’s largest brewer, plans to invest $100 million in a new brewery in Tanzania, where beer volumes jumped by a fifth last year, pointing to potential pressure on capacity, it said on Tuesday. TAX First Quantum Minerals said on Tuesday that Zambia’s tax agency had slapped it with 76.5 billion Zambian kwacha ($8.04 billion) bill for unpaid import duties, a potentially huge blow for the Canadian miner that earns most its profit in the southern African country. POLITICS Zambia’s parliament suspended a cabinet minister on Tuesday from its proceedings for one month for slapping a fellow lawmaker within parliament grounds. MINING Zambia expects to produce more than one million tonnes of this year after revising its 2017 copper production upwards on the back of stable power supply, a senior ministry of mines official said on Tuesday. MINING Democratic Republic of Congo said on Tuesday it would open negotiations with mining companies on Wednesday about implementing a new mining code that hikes taxes and royalties. DEBT A core group of Mozambique’s international creditors dismissed as a “non-starter” a debt restructuring plan the country presented on Tuesday, balking at the idea of a second painful writedown in as many years. SECURITY A Tunisian engineer has been killed by his kidnappers in southwest Cameroon, but three of his colleagues have been rescued, the government said. WORLDBANK The World Bank agreed a $600 million loan and grant to Ethiopia on Tuesday to fund roads and other infrastructure projects in urban areas. INFLATION Malawi’s consumer inflation quickened to 8.1 percent year-on-year in February from 7.1 percent in January, official data showed on Thursday. the latest precious metals report click on GOL/

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