Australian bonds tracked a retreat in Treasuries as investors focused on the likelihood of a Federal Reserve interest-rate hike this week. Index futures signaled a mixed picture for Asia after a late-in-the-day rally in U.S. stocks as crude oil rebounded.
Government debt of Australia and New Zealand pared back some of Monday’s gains after 10-year Treasury yields rallied from near a six-week low, with traders continuing to price in odds above 75 percent of the Fed boosting borrowing costs on Wednesday. While Hong Kong stock futures foreshadowed declines, contracts on Australian and South Korean benchmarks advanced following the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s rebound from a two-month low. U.S. crude closed higher after sliding below $35 a barrel.
“Markets remain nervous,” Philip Borkin, a senior economist in Auckland at ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd. said in a note to clients. “Like equities, bond markets appeared to follow oil prices movements although moves were reasonably violent.”
A sense of unease prevails in global financial markets as investors start counting down to Wednesday’s Fed meeting, where U.S. policy makers are expected to end a seven-year era of near-zero borrowing costs. Weakness in high-risk credit markets has sparked fear of contagion, unsettling markets along with the gyrations in crude oil ahead of one of the most anticipated Fed decisions of the year. Australia’s central bank releases minutes of its December meeting Tuesday, with an update on U.S. consumer prices also due.
Yields on Australian debt due in a decade added three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 2.85 percent, as rates on similar-maturity New Zealand sovereign notes climbed the same amount to 3.56 percent.
Concerns over the junk bond market were overshadowed Monday by expectations of a Fed rate hike, weighing on Treasuries. Ten-year U.S. yields rose by nine basis points to 2.22 percent after slipping 10 basis points on Friday amid a global equity selloff.
The S&P 500 ended last session up 0.5 percent as energy stocks erased their declines amid a 1.9 percent increase in U.S. oil. West Texas Intermediate crude rose to $36.31 a barrel after earlier on Monday sliding to as low as $34.53.
Nigeria’s Petrol Imports Decrease by 1 Billion Litres Following Subsidy Removal
Nigeria’s monthly petrol imports declined by approximately 1 billion litres following the fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported.
The NBS findings illuminate the tangible effects of this policy shift on the country’s petroleum importation dynamics.
Prior to the subsidy removal, the NBS report delineated a consistent pattern of petrol imports with quantities ranging between 1.91 billion and 2.29 billion litres from March to May 2023.
However, in the aftermath of Tinubu’s decision, the nation witnessed a notable downturn in petrol imports, with figures plummeting to 1.64 billion litres in June, the first post-subsidy month.
This downward trend persisted in subsequent months, with July recording a further reduction to 1.45 billion litres and August witnessing a significant decline to 1.09 billion litres.
August’s import figures represented a decrease of over 1 billion litres compared to the corresponding period in 2022.
The NBS report underscores the pivotal role of the subsidy removal in reshaping Nigeria’s petrol import landscape with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company emerging as the sole importer of fuel in the current scenario.
Despite higher petrol imports in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous year, the decline in June, July, and August underscores the profound impact of subsidy removal on import dynamics, affirming the NBS’s latest findings.
Nigeria’s Oil Rig Count Soars From 11 to 30, Says NUPRC CEO
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, has announced a surge in the country’s oil rig count.
Komolafe disclosed that Nigeria’s oil rigs have escalated from 11 to 30, a substantial increase since 2011.
Attributing this surge to concerted efforts by NUPRC and other governmental stakeholders, Komolafe highlighted the importance of instilling confidence, certainty, and predictability in the oil and gas industry.
He explained the pivotal role of the recently implemented Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which has spurred significant capital expenditure amounting to billions of dollars over the past two and a half years.
Speaking in Lagos after receiving The Sun Award, Komolafe underscored the effective discharge of NUPRC’s statutory mandate, which has contributed to the success stories witnessed in the sector.
The surge in Nigeria’s oil rig count signifies a tangible measure of vibrant activities within the upstream oil and gas sector, reflecting increased drilling activity and heightened industry dynamism.
Also, Komolafe noted that NUPRC has issued over 17 regulations aimed at enhancing certainty and predictability in industry operations, aligning with the objectives outlined in the PIA.
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