U.S Oil Futures Decline As Feds Take Stock Ahead Of Rates Cut 

U.S. crude oil futures settled lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve maintained its stance of not going dovish on rates in the near future, while growing U.S. crude stockpiles added further pressure.

Brent crude futures was up by 0.04% at $83.68 a barrel.m while  U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures (WTI) was down by 0.42% at $78.54.

Nigeria Detains Binance Executives In Cryptocurrency Crackdown

Two senior executives at Binance have been locked up  in Nigeria as the country cracks down on cryptocurrency exchanges, citing how it negatively affects the nations exchange rate. The executives flew to Nigeria after the country’s decision to ban several cryptocurrency trading websites last week but they were detained by the office of the country’s national security adviser and their passports withheld. However, the naira’s official exchange rate has been trading at par  with the parallel market after the currency depreciated. Conclusively, Africa’s largest economy has been battling chronic  dollar shortages that have made  its currency to record lows after foreign investors left after  a previous oil price collapse and introduction of capital controls in 2015.

South African Rand Slides  Against USD

South Africa’s rand weakened on Wednesday. In the absence of major economic data. South African investors focus are towards economic data due for a release  on Thursday. The figures comprises money supply, producer price inflation, trade and budget balance figures. The Rand traded at 19.2375 against the dollar , about 0.8% weaker than its previous close while the dollar index was 0.1% up against a basket of currencies. South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was slightly stronger, with the yield down 1 basis point to 10.190%.

Oil, Mining Sector Drive Namibian Economic Growth

Namibia made an increase in  its economic growth forecasts for 2023 and 2024 and lowered a budget deficit projection due to strong growth in the oil and mining sectors. The southern African nation expects to see economic growth of 5.6% for last year and 4.0% this year, up from projections of 3.5% and 2.9%, respectively. The budget deficit for the 2023/24 fiscal year is seen at 3.2% of gross domestic product (GDP), down from an October estimate of 4.2%, with a 3.2% of GDP in 2024/25. The strong growth is supported  by great activities in the natural resources sector, including the impact of ongoing petroleum exploration on domestic economic activities and the increase in uranium production.

China Exports 23% Of Solar Module To Asia

China maintained its dominant grip on the export of solar panels and modules in 2023, boosting global shipments by over a third from 2022’s totals. Total solar module exports by China, which accounts for roughly 80% of global solar exports, totalled roughly 220,000 megawatts (MW) in 2023, up by over 55,000 MW from 2022 as global markets seeks to boost clean energy generation. Asian countries received the largest share in in solar module imports from China in 2023, growing by more than European nations for the first time since 2020. However, Europe remained the largest overall destination for Chinese solar modules with 46.35% while Asia had the second largest share, with 23%, while Latin America and the Caribbean had the third largest share with 14%.