Oil Prices Rise 3% On Supply Concerns, Following Libya’s Sharara Oilfield Shutdown

Taiwo  Adekeye, FMVA

January 4, 2024

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, moving northward about 3% after a disruption at Libya’s top oilfield added to fears that mounting tensions in the Middle East could disrupt global oil supplies. Brent futures rose 3.1% to settle at $78.25 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 3.3% to settle at $72.70

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia officially joins BRICS bloc

The BRICs bloc previously included Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, but is set to double with Saudi Arabia joining the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia as new members. Saudi Arabia’s entry comes amid geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China, and the expansion of China’s influence within the kingdom. China, Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil customer, has led calls for the BRICs to expand to become a counterweight to the West.

Nigeria: FDI triples asset disposal in Nigeria, divestment hits $200 million in Q3 2023

FDI have tripled their asset disposals in Nigeria, hitting $200 million, according to CBN economic report for Q3’ 2023. The investment signaled a monumental increase of 186% from $70 million in Q2 2023, primarily due to divestment in direct investment equities. However, there is a substantial influx of $2.86 billion, compared to $2.23 billion in Q2’ 2023 which is due to heightened portfolio investment, particularly in debt instruments by non-residents.

Kenya: Kenyan economic growth rises to 5.9% YoY in Q3’

Kenya’s economy grew 5.9% year-on-year in Q3’ 2023 compared to 4.3% growth in the same quarter of 2022. This growth was mainly driven by a rebound in agricultural activities that had contracted in 2022. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing grew by 6.7% compared to a contraction of 1.3% in the third quarter of 2022.

South Africa: South African Rand weakens consecutively

The South African rand fell again on Wednesday after a big drop the day before when the U.S. dollar posted its best daily performance since March 2023. The Rand traded at 18.8250 against the USD, nearly 1.4% weaker than its previous close. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index closed 1.8% lower while the benchmark 2030 government bond slipped, the yield up 6 basis points to 9.915%.

India: Rupee remains unchanged as Asian peers drop on increasing US yields

The Indian rupee was a bit changed on Wednesday, even as Asian currencies fell pressured by an uptick in Treasury yields as traders moderated bets on potential rate cuts in the U.S. this year. The Rupee was at 83.33 as barely changed from its close at 83.3175 in the previous session. The dollar index jumped 0.8% on Tuesday and the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose 8 basis points to 3.94% expectations of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

China: China’s top banks restrict exposure to smaller peers to reduce credit riskChina’s top banks have sharpened scrutiny of smaller peers’ asset quality and have tightened standards for interbank lending in an effort to curb credit risk as a deepening property debt crisis ripples through the economy. Joint stock bank had tightened its criteria for lending to smaller banks, it has stopped purchasing bonds issued by smaller banks that have total assets below $40 billion.