African Markets – Factors to watch on March 20

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GLOBAL MARKETS
Asian stocks were mixed on Monday in thin trade, following Wall Street’s declines and the G20’s decision to drop a pledge to avoid trade protectionism, while the Federal
Reserve’s less hawkish-than-expected comments continued to drag the dollar lower.

WORLD OIL PRICES
Oil prices fell on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity and steady supplies from OPEC countries despite touted production cuts pressured already-bloated markets.

EMERGING MARKETS
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AFRICA STOCKS
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SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS
South Africa’s rand firmed to a near 19-month high on Friday over dovish comments by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which gave impetus to emerging market currencies against the retreating greenback.

NIGERIA MARKETS
Nigeria’s overnight lending rate eased to 12 percent on Friday compared with 15 percent at the start of the week, as commercial lenders anticipated fresh inflows from state
bodies.

NIGERIA RATES
Nigeria’s central bank will leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Tuesday to try and curtail high inflation as Africa’s top economy grapples with its first recession in 25 years, a Reuters poll found on Friday.

NIGERIA POLICY
Nigeria’s monetary and fiscal authorities must cooperate on their policies to help Africa’s largest economy to develop, the central bank governor said, according to his spokesman.

KENYA MARKETS
The Kenyan shilling KES= was seen to be under pressure from the dollar on Friday due to oil importers buying dollars, traders said.

KENYA CENTRAL BANKER
The governor of Kenya’s central bank Patrick Njoroge should be investigated in connection with a multi-million-dollar scam at a youth employment programme, a parliamentary
committee said.

GHANA MARKETS
The Bank of Ghana said the yield on its weekly 91-day bill rose to 17.2108 percent at an auction on Friday, from 16.4392 percent at the last sale, on March 10.

ZIMBABWE BOND NOTES
Zimbabwe’s central bank has printed half of the ‘bond notes’ quasi-currency it intends to issue under a $200 millionm scheme, a state newspaper reported on Friday, as the country
grapples with a biting shortage of U.S. dollars.

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