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Asian Stocks Rebound as Chinese Economic Data Spur Stimulus Bets

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Asian stocks climbed from a three-year low, sparked by a rally in Chinese shares as the nation’s weakest economic growth since 2009 raised speculation the government will boost stimulus measures.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.8 percent to 119.85 at 4:38 p.m. in Hong Kong, reversing an earlier loss of 0.5 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped the most in two months as industrial companies surged. China’s industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment all slowed at the end of the year, while gross domestic product expanded 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

The Shanghai benchmark gauge rallied 3.2 percent, with China Communications Construction Co. surging by the daily limit and China Railway Group Ltd. posting its biggest advance since March 2015. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in Hong Kong gained 3 percent, while the city’s benchmark Hang Seng index rose 2.1 percent. E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index jumped 1.3 percent.

Investors need to ask “what is the next policy action in terms of stimulus from the Chinese,” Didier Duret, chief investment officer at ABN Amro Private Banking, told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong. “It will probably come into infrastructure — railways, telecoms and air space infrastructure. That’s the area that should benefit.”

Chinese shares fell into a bear market last week on waning confidence about the government’s ability to manage its economy and financial markets. Tuesday’s data showed China’s economy is growing at two speeds, with old rust-belt industries from steel to coal and cement in decline while consumption, services and technology do better.
“The market was pricing in much worse,” said Nader Naeimi, Sydney-based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which oversees about $114 billion. “The markets had intense fears over China.”

Concern about the outlook for global growth, volatility in China and a plunge in commodities prices have roiled markets worldwide, with the MSCI Asia Pacific gauge down 9.2 percent in 2016 and closing Monday at the lowest level since September 2012.
Energy companies had the biggest surge in Asia’s benchmark index Tuesday as Brent oil rebounded from the lowest close in 12 years. PetroChina Co. soared 4.9 percent in Hong Kong and Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production PCL rallied 7.1 percent to lead gains.

Regional Gauges

Japan’s Topix index closed with a gain of 0.2 percent, after rising as much as 0.5 percent and dropping more than 0.9 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index added 0.6 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index increased 0.6 percent while Singapore’s Straits Times Index jumped 1.5 percent, the most since November. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 0.4 percent.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 0.6 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.9 percent. Before Tuesday’s gains, both were down 19 percent from their 2015 peaks, close to a 20 percent drop that would meet the definition of a bear market.

The MSCI All-Country World Index slipped to its lowest point since July 2013 on Monday, as banks drove the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to a 13-month low. Markets in the U.S. reopen Tuesday after a holiday.

Bloomberg

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Agricultural Sector’s Contribution to GDP Decreases in Q1 2024

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Agriculture - Investors King

Nigeria’s agricultural sector declined in its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to recent data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The sector, which encompasses crop production, livestock, forestry, and fishing, experienced a decrease in its nominal growth rate compared to the same period in 2023.

The data reveals that the agricultural sector grew by 0.77% year-on-year in nominal terms in Q1 2024, a decrease of 4.47% points from the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

This decline is significant, especially when compared to the growth rate of 14.94% recorded in the preceding quarter, showcasing a downturn of 14.17% points.

Crop production emerged as the primary driver of the sector, constituting 87.98% of the overall nominal value of the sector in Q1 2024.

However, despite its dominance, the sector’s contribution to nominal GDP stood at 17.22%, reflecting a decrease from the rates recorded in both the first quarter and fourth quarter of 2023, which were 19.63% and 24.65%, respectively.

In real terms, the agricultural sector experienced a modest growth rate of 0.18% year-on-year in Q1 2024, indicating an increase of 1.08% points from the same period in 2023.

Nevertheless, this growth rate represents a decline of 1.92% points from the preceding quarter, which recorded a growth rate of 2.10%. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the sector’s growth rate stood at -32.25% in the first quarter of 2024.

Despite these challenges, the agricultural sector remains a vital component of Nigeria’s economy, contributing significantly to employment, food security, and overall economic development.

As the nation navigates through economic fluctuations, policymakers and stakeholders may need to explore strategies to revitalize and strengthen the agricultural sector to ensure its sustained growth and resilience in the face of future uncertainties.

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Nigeria’s GDP Grows by 2.98% in Q1 2024, Driven by Services Sector

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Banana Island

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.98% in the first quarter of 2024 as the services sector sustained growth, the latest National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report has shown.

This growth was higher when compared to the 2.31% recorded in the corresponding period of 2023, but lower than the 3.46% growth observed in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The report indicates that the services sector spearheaded this expansion as it grew by 4.32% in the period under review and contributed 58.04% of the aggregate GDP

Contrary to previous quarters, where the agriculture sector faced challenges, it rebounded modestly to post a 0.18% growth rate.

This positive performance marks a notable turnaround from the decline of -0.90% recorded in the first quarter of 2023.

Also, the industry sector recorded a growth rate of 2.19%, compared to the marginal 0.31% growth in the same period last year.

The aggregate GDP in nominal terms stood at N58,855,142.27 million for the first quarter of 2024.

Oil Sector First Quarter 2024

Delving into sectoral specifics, the oil sector posted a real growth rate of 5.70% year-on-year in Q1 2024.

Although this growth rate represents a decline from the previous quarter where it stood at 12.11%, the oil sector still contributed 6.38% of the total real GDP.

This performance revealed the sector’s continued importance despite ongoing global economic shifts and fluctuations in oil prices.

Non-oil Sector First Quarter

On the other hand, the non-oil sector expanded by 2.80% in real terms during the reference quarter.

This growth was predominantly driven by key sectors such as Financial and Insurance, Information and Communication, Agriculture, Trade, and Manufacturing.

In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 93.62% to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2024, lower than the share recorded in the first quarter of 2023 which was 93.79% and lower than the fourth quarter of 2023 recorded as 95.30%.

Despite the challenges posed by the global economic landscape and domestic factors, Nigeria’s GDP growth in the first quarter of 2024 shows resilience and potential for further expansion.

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Federal Government Disburses N260bn to Revitalize Primary Health Centres Nationwide

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Africa health startup

The federal government has disbursed N260 billion to the 36 states to revitalise primary health centres (PHCs).

This initiative, announced by Muhammad Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, will improve healthcare accessibility and quality for all citizens.

During a ministerial sectoral update organized by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation on Friday, Pate emphasized the urgency and importance of this investment.

“N260 billion is sitting right now at the state level for the revitalization of their primary healthcare centres,” he stated, highlighting the immediate availability of funds for this crucial sector.

The fund, part of which is sourced from the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, is intended to upgrade and equip up to 17,000 primary healthcare centres nationwide.

This ambitious target aims to significantly improve the quality of healthcare services available to Nigerians, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

Pate noted the government’s strategic focus on primary healthcare as the foundation of a robust health system.

“Our goal is to ensure that every Nigerian, regardless of their location, has access to quality healthcare services. By revitalizing these primary health centres, we can provide essential health services closer to the people, thereby reducing the burden on tertiary healthcare facilities.”

The minister also pointed out that this financial injection would address several challenges faced by the PHCs, including inadequate infrastructure, lack of essential medical supplies, and insufficient staffing.

“This funding will enable states to renovate existing facilities, procure necessary medical equipment, and employ additional healthcare workers to meet the increasing demand for healthcare services,” Pate explained.

The disbursement of these funds is part of a broader strategy to strengthen Nigeria’s health system, which has faced numerous challenges in recent years, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revitalization of PHCs is seen as a critical step in achieving universal health coverage and improving health outcomes for all Nigerians.

Stakeholders in the healthcare sector have welcomed the government’s initiative, calling it a timely intervention that could transform the country’s healthcare landscape.

“This is a significant milestone for Nigeria’s healthcare system. The revitalization of primary health centres is essential for achieving sustainable health improvements and ensuring that every Nigerian has access to basic healthcare services,” said Dr. Adeyemi Adeniran, a public health expert.

The successful implementation of this initiative will require close collaboration between the federal and state governments, as well as active participation from local communities.

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has pledged to monitor the utilization of the funds to ensure transparency and accountability.

As the government embarks on this ambitious project, the hope is that it will not only enhance healthcare delivery but also build a resilient health system capable of addressing current and future health challenges.

With the N260 billion disbursement, the federal government has taken a significant step towards achieving this goal, reaffirming its commitment to the health and well-being of all Nigerians.

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