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Dollar Set for Best Week Since November After Post-Fed Tumble

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The dollar headed for its best week since November, climbing from a nine-month low reached last week, as Federal Reserve policy makers hinted interest rates may rise in the next few months.

The U.S. currency rose against most of its major peers after Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said officials may be getting close to lifting rates again, provided growth continues as forecast. Government releases on Thursday showed fewer jobless claims than forecast in the week through March 19 and durable goods orders fell less than projected last month. The yen fell for a sixth day against the dollar after a government report showed Japanese investors bought a record sum of overseas bonds and stocks last week.

Investors are slowly shifting back into the greenback after a cautious tone from Fed policy makers at their March 15-16 meeting sent the dollar tumbling. Traders are refocusing on the U.S. economy to evaluate whether incoming data can sustain a rebound in the currency. Employers probably continued to bolster the headcount this month, a report April 1 is forecast to show.

‘More Room’

“The dollar, from a broad perspective, I think there’s probably still some more room to strengthen, if the U.S. data’s good,” said Eric Stein, the Boston-based co-director of global fixed income at Eaton Vance Corp., which oversees around $302 billion. “Again, we get a dovish Fed statement that seems to lead to hawkish commentary afterwards.”

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus 10 peers, is set for a 1.3 percent gain this week, the biggest since the period ending Nov. 6 and added 0.2 percent to 1,201.76 at 11:32 a.m. in Tokyo on Friday. The dollar climbed 0.1 percent to 113.05 yen and rose 0.1 percent to $1.1163 per euro.

Markets in parts of Asia, including Hong Kong and Singapore, Europe and the U.S. are closed Friday for national holidays.

The yen headed for its biggest weekly decline against the greenback since the period ended Jan. 29., the day when the Bank of Japan announced decision to employ a negative interest-rate policy.

Chasing Yields

Japanese investors’ purchases of overseas equity and investment-fund shares as well as bonds totaled 2.59 trillion yen ($22.9 billion) in the week ended March 18, largest amount in Ministry of Finance data going back to 2005.

The increased overseas investment is leading to weakness in the yen, said Kenji Yoshii, Tokyo-based currency strategist at Mizuho Securities Co. “Domestic yields remain in negative zones so investors have no choice but to seek yields abroad. This trend will likely continue.”

Jun Kato, a senior fund manager in Tokyo at Shinkin Asset Management, said the dollar’s advance accelerated after technical resistance of 112.90 yen was broken, with markets eyeing 113.50 as the next target.

“The higher dollar trend is becoming more evident against the yen,” Kato said. “But the move broadly remains within an adjustment from the post-Fed bearishness.”

Gauging U.S. Data

U.S. data have steadily improved over the last few weeks, with Bloomberg’s gauge of economic surprises advancing to the highest in more than a year.

“The next rate increase may not be far off provided that the economy evolves as expected,” Bullard said in New York on Thursday. Futures contracts show traders see a 6 percent likelihood of a rate increase at policy makers’ meeting next month, and a 38 percent probability in June.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has fallen 2.5 percent this year, after a 9 percent gain in 2015 and an 11 percent rally the year before.

“The data should continue to strengthen, it should continue to surprise a little bit and that should be sufficient for them to go in June,” Binky Chadha, chief global strategist at Deutsche Bank AG, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. The upside for the greenback may be limited as “the dollar itself has also priced in a lot.”

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.

Markets

Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd

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The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.

The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.

The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.

The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.

Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.

The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.

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Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

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Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.

This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.

Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.

On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.

Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”

The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.

There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.

“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”

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Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020

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Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020

The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.

EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.

If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.

The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.

It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.

It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.

“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”

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