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Japan Stocks Drop on Stronger Yen as Energy Shares Fall With Oil

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Japanese yen

Japanese stocks fell as the yen strengthened and Iran and Saudi Arabia doused hopes for a rebound in crude prices, sending global energy shares lower.

The Topix index declined 1.1 percent to 1,276.57 as of 9:53 a.m. in Tokyo, as 27 of the measure’s 33 industry groups slid. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 1.2 percent to 15,856.77. Shares in the U.S. tumbled with oil after Saudi Arabia said a recent agreement to freeze output won’t lead to production cuts, while Iran called the deal “ridiculous.”

“Iran and Saudi Arabia are showing little desire to lower production, so despite the agreement by the main countries to freeze output, it’s clear that alone won’t push oil prices back up to $50 or $60 a barrel,” Chihiro Ohta, general manager of investment information at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo, said by phone. “There are no catalysts to purchase stocks now. We’re not seeing buying ahead of the G20 either.”

Crude fell 4.6 percent in New York on Tuesday. Last week’s proposal to cap output at January levels puts “unrealistic demands” on Iran, the country’s oil minister said Tuesday. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said the deal won’t cut oil production as other countries would be unlikely to assist in restraining output. Oil futures continued falling, slipping an additional 1.5 percent on Wednesday.

Yen, Oil

The yen gained for a second day, trading at 111.98 per dollar after jumping 0.7 percent on Tuesday. That sent exporters lower, including Toyota Motor Corp. which declined 1.6 percent. Subaru manufacturer Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. lost 3.4 percent, while TDK Corp., the Apple Inc. supplier that gets more than 90 percent of revenue abroad, fell 4.1 percent.

Shippers led losses in Tokyo on Wednesday, with Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. falling 3.3 percent. Resource-related shares were also among the biggest losers. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. dropped 3.3 percent after gaining 4 percent on Tuesday.

Declines among Japan’s energy companies were buffered as several brokerages lifted ratings on some companies. Fuji Oil Co. jumped 1.2 percent after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. boosted its outlook on the crude miner and refiner. Chiyoda Corp., which provides services to oil companies, rose 0.1 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its rating on the firm.

Chairman Exit

Honda Motor Co. led car manufacturers lower after shaking up management, including the exit of its chairman. The changes at Japan’s second-largest automaker come amid internal quality woes and an air-bag safety crisis with its top supplier Takata Corp. Shares of Honda fell 3.3 percent.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent after the underlying equity gauge tumbled 1.3 percent on Tuesday, the most since Feb. 8. The recent rally’s strongest performers lost momentum, with banks and tech shares declining. Economic data was mixed, as a report showed previously owned home sales unexpectedly rose in January to the second-highest pace since early 2007, while February’s consumer confidence decreased.

Investors awaited the start of a Group of 20 meeting on Friday in Shanghai. The weakening global-growth outlook was expected to dominate the agenda as officials from the world’s biggest economies gathered.

Bloomberg

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Forex

Naira Exchange Rate Improves as CBN Plans to Flood Economy With $20 Billion Diaspora Remittances

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Nigeria 1000 notes

The Naira to US Dollar exchange rate improved by N10 to N490 on Tuesday following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new directive that allows recipients of diaspora remittances to receive their fund in foreign currency (US Dollar) or via their ordinary domiciliary account.

The move was after the apex bank blamed the parallel market for the wide foreign exchange rate and cautioned analysts for using speculative rates as the real Naira/US dollar rate.

Therefore, the apex bank decided to inject $20 billion annual diaspora remittances into the real sector of the economy and hurt the activities of unscrupulous individuals at the parallel market.

Investors King expects this to gradually moderate the nation’s foreign exchange rate against global counterparts, deepen business activities and fast track economic recovery.

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CBN Amends Forex Receipt as Naira Hits Record Low

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Naira Dollar Exchange Rate

In a bid to simplify and finally liberalize the receipt of diaspora remittances, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has amended its receipt procedures to allow beneficiaries of diaspora remittances receive such inflows in foreign currency (US Dollars).

The apex bank stated in a circular signed by Dr. O.S. Nnaji, Director Trade and Exchange Department, CBN.

In the circular, recipients of remittances can now receive funds in either foreign currency cash (US Dollars) or into their ordinary domiciliary account.

While the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) will henceforth receive diaspora remittances in foreign currency through the designated bank of their choice.

The CBN plans to ease forex scarcity, speed up the recovery process and checkmate the activities of speculators and hoarders at the black by injecting diaspora remittances estimated at about $20 billion per year into the real economy.

This is expected to not just improve business activities but also moderate foreign exchange rate from the current N500/US$ and move the central bank a step closer to unifying the nation’s foreign exchange rates.

The circular partly reads “In an effort to liberalize, simplify and improve the receipt and administration of diaspora remittances into Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wishes to announce as follows;

“Beneficiaries of Diaspora Remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) shall henceforth receive such inflows in foreign currency (US Dollars) or into their ordinary domiciliary account. Such recipients of remittances may have the option of receiving these funds in foreign currency cash (US Dollars) or into their ordinary domiciliary account.”

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Naira Devaluation Pushed Exchange Rate to N500/US$ at Black Market

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NAIRA

Naira to United States Dollar exchange rate plunged to N500 on Monday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) devalued the Naira by N6 on Friday amid growing scarcity.

At the current rate, the local currency has lost N140 per US dollar when compared with N360 it was sold in the same month of 2019 and N5 compared to N495 it exchanged on Friday.

In an effort to ease pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves and unify foreign exchange rates in line with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank’s requirement for loans, the CBN devalued the official exchange rate by N6 from N379/US$ to N385/US$ and directed bureau de change operators to sell at N392/US$, up from N386/US$.

However, with importers and businesses looking to meet the usual high demand for goods in December pushing demand for the United States dollar off the roof, Naira’s value has continued to plummet despite efforts by the CBN to prop up its value.

Against the British Pound, the Naira declined to N650, down from N620 it exchanged last week. This depreciation continues against the Euro common currency as the local currency declined to N585.

Lack of liquidity due to the weak foreign reserves, low oil prices and weak demand for the commodity amid production cuts by OPEC and allies is hurting CBN’s ability to effectively intervene at the nation’s foreign exchange markets.

The apex bank usually sells forex to dealers to ease scarcity and facilitate trades. However, lack of foreign revenue generation has forced the CBN to reduce its weekly forex sales to $10,000 per bureau de change operator despite reopening of the economy pushing demand for forex further up.

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