Economies Focus- Factors To Watch


Enterprise Television
Asian shares rallied for a second session on Friday as economic news from China and Japan beat all expectations, and investors marveled at the meteoric ascent of the market’s new crypto-star, bitcoin.

Oil prices were stable on Friday, held back by a strengthening U.S. dollar but supported by China’s relentless thirst for crude amid the OPEC-led supply cuts
that have already tightened the market this year.

South Africa’s rand fell more than one per cent against the U.S. dollar on Thursday as the greenback rose, while stocks edged up slightly, despite another share plunge by Steinhoff International SNHJ.J.

Nigerian stocks rose for the seventh straight day on Thursday and reached a three-year high, led by consumer goods and banking shares. One of Nigeria’s two main oil unions on Thursday threatened to launch a nationwide strike from Dec. 18 over what it said was a “mass sacking of workers that joined the union”.

Kenya’s shilling (KES) was little changed on Thursday and traders said they expect it to weaken due to increased general importer dollar demand. The World Bank has cut its 2017 growth estimate for Kenya’s economy to 4.9 per cent, which would be the slowest annual expansion in five years, due to drought, sluggish credit growth and a prolonged election season, it said on Thursday. On Kenya politics, Swearing in an alternative president of Kenya would be an act of treason, the country’s attorney general said on
Thursday, days before an opposition leader expects to be inaugurated by an unofficial people’s assembly.

Kweku Adoboli, a former UBS trader jailed for Britain’s biggest fraud over unauthorised trades that cost the Swissbank $2.3 billion, averted the immediate threat of deportation at a court hearing in London on Thursday.

Zambia’s economy will grow more slowly than expected, expanding 3.8 per cent instead of the previous forecast of 4.1 per cent, the World Bank said on Thursday. Zimbabwe’s new government promised to re-engage with international lenders, curb spending and attract investors to revive its battered economy, as it launched its first budget since the fall of Robert Mugabe on Thursday.


The statistics office releases consumer price data for November. The rate edged down to 5.1 per cent in October.


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