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Africa Currency Crises Spark Diverging Central Bank Action

  • Nigeria to stick with looser policy, South Africa tightens
  • Inflation risks rising, while economic growth outlooks worsen
Rand coins and banknotes sit in a cash box in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. More than four years of currency declines -- to a fresh low this week -- aren't enough to offset electricity shortages, strikes and slowing demand from Asia and Europe that are pushing the economy to the brink of recession.
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
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Africa’s biggest economies are taking opposite approaches on monetary policy as they struggle to cope with collapsing commodity prices and a slump in investor confidence.

South Africa, Nigeria, Angola and Ghana are set to announce their first interest-rate decisions of the year this week in an environment complicated by plummeting currencies, rising inflation risks and deteriorating growth. While a record-low rand may force South African policy makers to take more aggressive action, Nigeria is set to stick to its looser policy, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.