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Dollar Heads For Steepest Three-Week Slide

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External Reserves

The dollar headed for its steepest three-week slide in more than four years as an increasingly cautious Federal Reserve spurred analysts and investors to reassess forecasts for the greenback.

A Bloomberg index tracking the U.S. currency against 10 major peers climbed from an eight-month low reached Friday, two days after Fed officials unexpectedly cut projections for interest-rate increases to two this year from the four they estimated in December. Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Morgan Stanley, two of the world’s top 10 currency forecasters, are highlighting the risk of more dollar weakness.

“The fact that they didn’t raise rates and wound back expectations for future increases in 2016 has obviously hurt the U.S. dollar,” said Derek Mumford, a director at Rochford Capital Pty in Sydney. “That can continue in the very near term.”

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 percent to 1,185.52 as of 6:28 a.m. in New York, having fallen earlier to 1,180.83, the lowest since June 30. It has dropped 3.7 percent since Feb. 26, poised for the biggest three-week slump since October 2011. The greenback has depreciated at least 0.4 percent against all of its Group-of-10 peers since March 11.

Fed’s Outlook

The Fed meeting prompted investors to question whether the dollar’s rally has run out of steam. Bloomberg’s gauge had climbed 37 percent between its 2011 low and the closing peak reached on Jan. 22 of this year, as the promise of superior economic growth and rising interest rates contrasted with sluggish economic activities elsewhere.

“In terms of the relative difference in interest rates, the rally is over,” John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown” with Manus Cranny and Anna Edwards. “The Fed has said we’re not going to be pushing this game like we were expected too.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its year-end forecast for dollar-yen to 103 from 110 the same day. The median estimate is 120 among more than 60 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The dollar was little changed at 111.38 yen Friday, on track for a 2.2 percent slide this week. It reached 110.67 on Thursday, the lowest since October 2014. The greenback gained 0.4 percent Friday to $1.1268 per euro, paring its weekly decline to 1 percent.

‘More Dovish’

“The Fed has become much more dovish — the market realizing maybe the Fed being a little bit more behind the curve,” Dominic Schnider, the head of commodities and Asia-Pacific foreign exchange at UBS Group AG’s wealth-management unit in Hong Kong, said Friday in a Bloomberg Television interview. “That’s simply not good for the dollar, and so we have this generic dollar weakness right now which will not disappear in the very short term.”

While Morgan Stanley and Macquarie agree on the prospects for near-term weakness, they remain dollar bulls.

The greenback will decline over a one-to-three month horizon, after which it will begin climbing again on a resumption of Fed tightening amid looser policy elsewhere, Macquarie strategists Nizam Idris, Gareth Berry and Teresa Lam wrote in a report Thursday.

“The falling USD has the characteristics of a pain trade that seems to have further to run,” Morgan Stanley analysts including Hans Redeker, the global head of currency strategy, wrote in a note the same day . However, “for the USD to experience a long-term trend change requires more than a dovish Fed.”

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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Finance

Emefiele Meets President Buhari, Hinted on Revisiting Naira Withdrawal Limit

The House of Representatives has invited the CBN governor to brief the house about the new policy. 

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The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated yesterday that the apex bank would consider reviewing the new weekly cash withdrawal limits of N100,000 and N500,000 for individuals and corporate bank customers, while also clarifying that the new policy which will take effect from January 2023 is not targetted at any individual. 

Investors King had earlier reported that the House of Representatives has invited the CBN governor to brief the house about the new policy. 

During the plenary session yesterday, several lawmakers positioned that the new withdrawal policy is capable to hurt the economy, especially some Nigerians who still rely on cash transactions. 

Similarly, the Association of Mobile Money Operators of Nigerians argued that the policy is capable to get them out of business.

While speaking to journalists after a close-door meeting with President Buhari, Emefiele assured that the apex bank would not be rigid on the policy as it was not meant to hurt anybody but to strengthen the nation’s economy.

In addition, the CBN governor added that more than N1 trillion worth of old notes had been deposited to various commercial banks across the county by bank customers while adding that the CBN has distributed the new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to banks for disbursement to their customers, ahead of the December 15, earlier scheduled for circulation of the new notes. 

It could be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed that naira redesign will help to address some prevailing fiscal issues which include excessive circulation of naira notes, counterfeiting, and terrorism. 

Emefiele explained that countries that have embraced digitization have gone cashless. He revealed that the president was happy with the policy 

“President Buhari was happy and said, we should carry on with our work, no need to fear, no need to bother about anybody,” he said. 

He said that the new policy of the apex bank was for the good and development of the Nigerian economy, adding, “We can only continue to appeal to Nigerians to please see this policy the way we have presented it”. 

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Finance

NNPC to Spend N1 Trillion on Road Projects Across Nigeria

NNPC release a sum of N621 billion to revamp selected roads across Nigeria through the Federal Government road infrastructure tax credit scheme.

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Mele Kyari - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited stated that it has provided an additional N1 trillion to fund road projects across Nigeria.

This was disclosed by NNPC Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari in Lagos yesterday.

Investors King learnt that this new development is coming after NNPC release a sum of N621 billion to revamp selected roads across Nigeria through the Federal Government road infrastructure tax credit scheme.

It could be recalled that President Buhari had signed Executive Order 007 which allows companies and corporations to embark on public infrastructure projects as a Tax Credit against Future Income Tax. 

Speaking during a tour of roads in the North-central and South-west, along with the Chief Executive of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, and other top government officials from the ministry of works, Kyari noted that NNPC intervention will help to better the road network across the country. 

The NNPC boss said, “We are very happy about the state of this road development. We are very happy with this intervention across the country, not just in this place. We are doing 1,800km across the country. NNPC is taking another set of over N1tn of investments in road infrastructure in the country”. 

Some of the roads visited by Kyari include the reconstruction of Bida-Lambata road in the state, with a length 124.81km, and the Lagos-Badagry expressway along the Agbara junction and Nigeria/Benin border.

In addition, it is important to note that roads embarked upon by NNPC are roads that will directly or indirectly sustain a smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country. 

Kyari noted that the project to tax initiative is a good policy that could help to accelerate road construction in Nigeria. 

“We believe that this tax credit system which Mr President has put in place is the game changer for our country. We believe that in the next 24 months, there will be a massive change to the entire road network in this country and this is why NNPC is your company and working for all of us,” he said. 

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Banking Sector

Ecobank Reports $401 Million Before Tax in Nine Months to September 2022

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

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Ecobank - Investors King

Ecobank Group on Thursday reported a 7% increase in revenue for the nine months ended September 2022, the leading financial institution announced in its audited financial statement.

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

The bank’s operating profit expanded by 12% to $593 million, up from $528 million filed in the corresponding period of 2021, Investors King reports.

Profit before tax rose to $401 million, a 14% increase from $352 million achieved in 2021. Profit paid to shareholders grew by 7% from $182 million to $196 million.

Gross loans and advances to customers increased 5% from $9.469 billion to $9.917 billion. Similarly, deposits from customers increased by declined by 2% to

Commenting on the bank’s performance, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group, said: “We continued to deliver on our strategic priorities and are on track to meet full-year targets despite the complex operating environment. Group-wide return on tangible equity reached a record 21%, and profit before tax increased by 14%, or 48% at constant currency (i.e., excluding currency movements).

“These results reflect the resilience, strong brand and diversification of our pan-African franchise. We saw decent client activity in consumer and wholesale payments, trade finance and foreign currency markets. Additionally,
despite inflationary pressures, we maintained a tight lid on costs, thereby improving our cost-to-income ratio to 56.3% from 58.3% in the previous year.

“The dampened economic outlook necessitated maintaining a sound balance sheet with adequate levels of liquidity and capital. As a result, our total capital adequacy ratio at 14.4% is well above our internal and minimum regulatory limits. Also, we hold sufficient gross impairment reserves that fully cover our non-performing loans. Moreover, we have fully repaid the five-year $400 million convertible debt we issued in September and October of 2017.

“Ecobankers have worked extremely hard to serve our customers’ financial needs, and I am proud of them. As always, we will passionately work towards realising our vision and remaining the bank that Africa and friends of Africa trust.”

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