African Markets - Factors to watch on March 18

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
African Markets - Factors to watch on March 18
Credit: © Reuters.

NAIROBI, March 18 (Reuters) - The following company announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect African markets on Thursday.

GLOBAL MARKETS

Asian shares and U.S. stock futures rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve committed to maintaining accommodative monetary policy and projected a rapid jump in U.S. economic growth this year as the COVID-19 crisis eases.

OIL PRICES

Oil prices dropped for a fifth day on Thursday after official data showed a sustained rise in U.S. crude and fuel inventories, while the ever-present pandemic clouded the demand outlook. 

SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS

South Africa's rand steadied in late afternoon trade on Wednesday, as markets waited for the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting for its outlook on the economy and interest rates.

MARKETS

The Kenyan shilling ( KES= ) was steady on Wednesday and traders said it was expected to weaken on the back of increased dollar demand from the energy sector, traders said.

EQUITIES

Kenya's KCB Group (KCB.NR), the country's top lender by assets, on Wednesday reported a 30% drop in pretax profit last year, while net profit fell 22%, hurt by increased provisions for loan losses and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

POLITICS

Tanzania's President John Magufuli, one of Africa's most prominent coronavirus sceptics, has died aged 61, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Wednesday after a more than two-week absence from public life that led to speculation about his health.

OIL

Nigeria's cabinet has approved $1.5 billion of spending on the modernisation of the Port Harcourt oil refinery and awarded a contract to Italy's Tecnimont ( MTCM.MI ), Petroleum Minister Timipre Sylva said on Wednesday.

CORRUPTION

A Milan court acquitted energy company Eni ( ENI.MI ), its chief executive and Royal Dutch Shell ( RDSa.L ) on Wednesday in the oil industry's biggest corruption case revolving around the $1.3 billion acquisition of a Nigerian oilfield a decade ago.

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