African Markets: Factors to watch – REUTERS

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The following company announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect African markets on Thursday.

GLOBAL MARKETS Asian shares flirted with 10-year highs on Thursday as solid economic data from the United States and Germany reinforced investors & optimism, while oil prices hovered at a 2-1/2-year high with unrest in Iran stoking supply disruption concerns.

WORLD OIL PRICES Oil prices on Thursday hit fresh two-and-a-half year highs and were at levels last seen at the start of the commodity slump in 2014/2015, with markets tightening amid tensions in Iran and due to ongoing OPEC-led production cuts.

EMERGING MARKETS

For the top emerging markets news, South Africa rand gained more than one percent on Wednesday, reversing losses from earlier in the session to trade at a three-day high as investors betting on a dollar recovery bought the local currency cheap.

NIGERIA CHINA DEAL

Nigeria has agreed a $550-million deal to buy two Chinese communications satellites and hopes to sign the contract before the end of the month, the communication minister said on Wednesday.

NIGERIA ATTACK

A suicide bomber killed 11 people on Wednesday in an attack on a mosque in northeast Nigeria, the epicenter of the conflict with Islamist insurgency Boko Haram, military officials and an aid worker said.

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KENYA MARKETS

Kenya shilling KES weakened on Wednesday and was forecast to lose more ground in coming days due to increased dollar demand from the manufacturing and energy sectors, traders said.

KENYA SAFARICOM

Kenya telecoms regulator has ditched a proposal to break Safaricom SCOM.NR up into separate telecoms and financial services businesses due to its dominant size, Kenya Business Daily newspaper said on Wednesday.

ANGOLA CURRENCY PEG

Angola plans to abandon its currency peg against the U.S dollar, its central bank governor said on Wednesday, setting the stage for the kwanza AOA= to fall sharply to match its value on the streets.

ZIMBABWE FIRMS

Zimbabwe has invited bids for stakes in up to eight loss-making state-owned enterprises, including its national airline and power utility, to help plug a ballooning budget deficit, its deputy finance minister said on Wednesday.