Oil Prices Fall Amid Ongoing Talks On Ceasefire In Gaza

On Friday, oil prices experienced a decline, and over the course of the week, they remained relatively stable. This occurred as the potential for a ceasefire in Gaza exerted downward pressure on crude benchmarks, while the ongoing war in Europe and a reduction in the number of active drilling rigs in the United States helped mitigate the decline(supported prices ). Brent futures for May delivery closed at $85.43, marking a decrease of 35 cents, while U.S. crude settled at $80.63 per barrel, registering a decline of 44 cents. Both benchmarks saw a change of less than 1% over the week.
India: India bans Onion exports ahead of general election
India has extended a ban on onion exports , a surprise move that comes ahead of a general election and is set to lead to  high prices in some overseas markets resulting in temporary scarcity.  The world’s biggest exporter of vegetable placed a ban on the commodity in December, the ban is due to expire on March 31. However, traders had anticipated that the ban would be lifted as local prices have more than halved since the export restrictions were implemented. Onion prices in some wholesale markets in Maharashtra, the biggest onion-producing state, have fallen to 1,200 rupees ($14) per 100 kg from 4,500 rupees recorded  in December.
China: Foreign investment flows into China declined by  19.9% in Jan-Feb
Foreign investment flows into China declined by 19.9% in January-February from a year earlier to 215.1 billion yuan ($30 billion). The Asian giant has  unveiled new steps to arrest a slowdown in foreign investment, including expanding market access and slowing down  some rules. Foreign companies are at odd with  China after it implemented extremely strict COVID restrictions during the pandemic, only to abruptly lift them in late 2022. Concerns about the business climate, uncertain economic recovery, and escalating geopolitical tensions with the West have dampened confidence. In 2023, foreign direct investment into China shank 8% year-on-year. Of the foreign investment in the first two months, A third of the total investment, amounting to 71.44 billion yuan in the first two months went into China’s high-tech industries, including high-tech manufacturing.
The Naira strengthened to N1,431/$ on Friday, up by 1.52%, closing the week on a positive note. The rally lasted for 7 day,  gaining over 12% in one week, suggesting the central bank’s policies, implemented since February, are beginning to show success. The Apex bank on Wednesday said it had paid commercial bank customers $1.5 billion to settle outstanding obligations that put the local currency under pressure. Daily turnover was $199.7 million culminating in a total turnover of $1 billion this week alone suggesting that improved liquidity is now been experienced in the market.
Nigeria’s external reserve position is currently $34.3 billion and is expected to rise to $35 billion according to projections from the apex bank.
Dr. Congo: Dr Congo overtakes Peru as the second largest producer of copper
The Democratic Republic of the Congo surpasses Peru as the world’s second largest copper producer in 2023, though it still lags the South American country in exports. Congo produced about 2.84 million tons of copper last year, while Peru’s output was 2.76 million tons. However,in terms of export of Copper, Peru is ahead of  Congo. Peru exported 2.95 million tons of the metal last year, more than its annual production due to sales of stocks held over from previous years.