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Asian Stocks Rebound as Chinese Economic Data Spur Stimulus Bets

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Asian Stocks

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, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Economy

No Plan to Increase Fuel Price; Says FG

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NNPC - Investors King

The Federal Government has stated that it has no plan to increase fuel price during the yuletide period.

This assurance is coming amid the nationwide fuel scarcity which has pushed the price of petrol above N250 in many retail stations.

Investors King learnt that fuel is being held for N250 per litre in Abuja and several other cities across the country while black marketers are charging between N400 and N450 per litre.

The scarcity and the high price of fuel are however becoming unbearable for many Nigerians, especially those who have reasons to embark on business travel for the December festivals.

According to the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chief Ukadike Chinedu, most of the association members, who owned the bulk of the filling stations across the country, were now subjected to purchasing PMS at about N220/litre, which was why many outlets currently dispensed at about N250/litre and above.

He noted that the cost of the commodity has been on the rise due to its unavailability and other concerns in the sector. 

He added that the price of fuel could be sold from N350/litre to N400/litre before the end of the year. 

Meanwhile, a number of senior officials at the NNPC had stated that the subsidy was becoming too burdensome on the national oil company, as this was another reason for the scarcity of PMS.

According to a source who is familiar with the development as reported by Punch News, “How can we continue to import 60 million litres of petrol daily and keep subsidising it, while millions of litres are either diverted or cannot be accounted for? The burden is too much, as you rightly captured in that story”. 

Investors King understands that NNPC is the sole importer of petroleum into the country and it pays billions of naira every month to subsidise the product to N147 per litre. 

Reuters News reported that in August 2022, NNPC paid more than $1 billion as fuel subsidy while the federal government earmarked N3.6 trillion as fuel subsidy in the 2023 budget proposal. 

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Fuel Scarcity: NNPC Declares 2billion Liters in Stock, Blames Scarcity on Road Construction

NNPC Claimed it as 2 billion litres of fuel despite scarcity

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Petrol - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has blamed the recent fuel scarcity on road construction around Apapa, noting that the corporation has about 2 billion litres of fuel in stock. 

According to a statement issued by NNPC Executive Vice President, Downstream, Mr Adeyemi Adetunji, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company has about 2 billion litres of fuel which can last the country conveniently for more than 30 days. 

The Executive Vice President further blamed the queues on the road construction around Apapa axis which has slowed down the movement of oil trucks to several parts of the country. 

“The recent queues in Lagos are largely due to ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa and access road challenges in Lagos” he said. 

He however noted that more filling stations should have Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol with the ease in gridlock along the apapa axis. 

“The gridlock is easing out and NNPC Ltd has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive load outs from depots to states are closely monitored,” he said.

Investors King gathered that several states including Abuja have been impacted by the supply chain difficulty caused by the construction around Apapa. 

The scarcity of fuel has therefore led to the hike in price. In most places across the country, fuel is sold as high as N250 per litre. Several fuel stations are already taking advantage of the situation coupled with the increase in the movement of people and goods owing to the December festivals.

Speaking further, Adeyemi noted that the situation will soon be back to normalcy as NNPC is taking measures to address the situation. 

“We want to reassure Nigerians that NNPC has sufficient products and we significantly increased product loading in selected depots and extended hours at strategic stations to ensure sufficiency nationwide.

“We are also working with industry stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned as soon as possible,” he concluded. 

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Economy

Global Growth to Drop Below 2% in 2023, Says Citi

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GDP Growth- Investors King

Citigroup on Wednesday forecast global growth to slow to below 2% next year, echoing similar projections by major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and J.P. Morgan.

Strategists at the brokerage cited continued challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war — which skyrocketed inflation to decades-high levels and triggered aggressive policy tightening — as reasons behind the outlook.

“We see global performance as likely (being) plagued by ‘rolling’ country-level recessions through the year ahead,” said Citi strategists, led by Nathan Sheets.

While the Wall-Street investment bank expects the U.S. economy to grow 1.9% this year, it is seen more than halving to 0.7% in 2023.

It expects year-on-year U.S. inflation at 4.8% next year, with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s terminal rate seen between 5.25% and 5.5%.

Among other geographies, Citi sees the UK and euro area falling into recession by the end of this year, as both economies face the heat of energy constraints on supply and demand front, along with tighter monetary and fiscal policies.

For 2023, Citi projects UK and euro area to contract 1.5% and 0.4%, respectively.

In China, the brokerage expects the government to soften its zero-COVID policy, which is seen driving a 5.6% growth in gross domestic product next year.

Emerging markets, meanwhile, are seen growing 3.7%, with India’s 5.7% growth — slower than this year’s 6.7% prediction — seen leading among major economies.

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