Oil Prices Surge, Buoyed By Demand Pressure 

By Taiwo Adekeye, FMVA

Research Analyst

Oil prices rose on Monday, a signal of improving demand in the U.S. and China, the top two oil consumers, aided the bounce from the previous session’s $1 a barrel slide. There is high speculation that U.S. crude oil stockpiles likely declined last week. Declining stocks are typically a sign of improving demand. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures was up by  86 cents settling  at $79.12 a barrel while Brent crude futures gained 57 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $83.36 a barrel.

India’s retail inflation eases in April amid rising food cost

India’s retail inflation rate declined marginally in April, partly due to lower fuel prices, amid elevated  food prices. Annual retail inflation in April was 4.83%, down from 4.85% recorded in March. In April, food inflation, constituting nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, increased by 8.70%, up from 8.52% in the previous month. However, food inflation has maintained a year-on-year acceleration of over 8% since November 2023. In April, the inflation rate for cereals increased to 8.63%, up from 8.37% in the previous month, while pulses saw a slight decrease to 16.84% from 17.71% in March. Vegetable prices surged by 27.8% during the month of April.

China To Begin Issuance of 1.0tr Yuan Stimulus Bond This Week

China’s finance ministry intends to begin raising 1 trillion yuan ($138.23bn) long-anticipated, long-term special treasury bonds this week. Proceeds will be utilized to stimulate crucial sectors of its slowing economy. However, the special government bonds would have tenors of 20 to 50 years, and issuance will begin on May 17, while the  30-year special bonds will be sold in 12 tranches, from May 17 to November 15. The 20-year instruments will be sold in seven batches beginning May 24, while 50-year bonds will be issued in three tranches from May 17.

South African rand strengthened against weaker dollar; US data in focus

The South African rand gained against a weaker dollar on Monday, as investors await key U.S. data that could signal the Federal Reserve’s future interest rate direction. The rand traded at 18.3400 against the dollar , around 0.5% stronger than its previous close, while the dollar was last down around 0.16% against a basket of global currencies. South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was stronger, with the yield down 5 basis points at 10.465%.