Published On: Thu, May 4th, 2017

African Markets – Factors to watch on May 4


NAIROBI, May 4 (Reuters) – The following company announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect African markets on Thursday.

* SOUTH AFRICA: Moody’s announces its ratings decision on South Africa this week. The agency put South Africa on review for a downgrade after the President Jacob Zuma cabinet reshuffle that saw a respected finance minister
being fired.
* SOUTH AFRICA: World Economic Forum on Africa will be held in Durban, South Africa, on 3-5 May 2017. The meeting will convene regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to explore solutions to create economic opportunities for all

Asian stocks retreated on Thursday, taking their cues from a subdued session on Wall Street, while the dollar retained gains made after the Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy statement. At the end of its two-day meeting, the Fed kept its benchmark interest rate steady as expected, but downplayed weak first-quarter economic growth and emphasised the strength of the labour market, a sign it was still on track for two more rate increases this year.

Crude oil lost ground on Thursday, falling for a third out of four sessions and trading near its lowest since late
March after data showed a lower than expected decline in U.S. inventories. U.S. crude stockpiles fell less than
expected last week, while gasoline inventories grew as demand remained weak, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, keeping concerns about global supply on a simmer.

Nigerian stocks gained for a second straight day on Wednesday on improving investor sentiment about the
recession-hit economy and company earnings results that outperformed market expectations.

Nigeria has appointed advisers to help it set up a national airline and develop its aviation infrastructure — currently
seen as a barrier to economic growth — to create a hub for West Africa, junior aviation minister Hadi Sirika said on

Nigeria’s crude oil exports are set to slip to 1.52 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, according to loading
programmes compiled by Reuters on Tuesday.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari missed his third straight weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday because he
needed to rest, officials said, fuelling concerns about the state of his health. A Reuters reporter witnessed the start
of the session and Buhari’s failure to arrive.

The Kenyan shilling was stable against the dollar on Wednesday due to hard currency inflows from investors abroad
buying government securities.

Kenya has charged 62 people with offences linked to party primaries for national elections in August, including
bribing voters and inciting violence, the prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

Somali security forces shot dead a minister for public works in his car in the capital Mogadishu on Wednesday after
mistaking him for an Islamist militant, officials said.

West African countries have detained seven Chinese ships for fishing illegally and the boats’ owners could be subject to millions of dollars in fines, environmental group Greenpeace and government officials said.

Ivory Coast has chosen five international banks to manage a Eurobond issue planned for the second quarter of this year, two banking sources familiar with the deal said on Wednesday.