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Dollar Gains for Seventh Day Against Yen

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The dollar headed for a seventh straight gain against the yen, its longest streak since October, as speculation grew that the Federal Reserve has a stronger case for raising interest rates. The weakness in the yen sent Japanese shares higher, while oil advanced for the first time in three sessions.

The U.S. currency extended gains after the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index capped its biggest weekly advance since November. Data on Friday showed the American economy expanded more than previously estimated, adding to evidence that the central bank may raise rates as early as next month. Chinese equities erased earlier gains that had been spurred by a jump in industrial companies’ profits. Trading volumes were light, with many financial markets across Asia and Europe shut following holidays on Friday.

“We’re now more conscious that there’s strength in the U.S. economy,” said Yoshinori Ogawa, a market strategist at Okasan Securities Co. “There were some views that the U.S. won’t be able to raise rates on economic concern, so the weakening dollar should take a break.”

Investors are weighing whether the U.S. economy is strong enough to withstand another rate increase. Asian stocks fell last week for the first time in a month and a half as Fed officials talked up the possibility of higher borrowing costs, comments that helped spur demand for the dollar. Investors will be watching China manufacturing figures on Friday as well as U.S. non-farm payrolls for a better idea of the strength of growth in the world’s two biggest economies.

The yen slipped 0.4 percent against the dollar as of 3:18 p.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix rallied late in the day after briefly erasing losses. Gold futures lost 0.5 percent, trading near a one-month low. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1.3 percent after the number of active rigs fell in the U.S., potentially easing a supply glut.

“The dollar does have some legs,” Jason Schenker, president and chief economist of Prestige Economics LLC, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “It is all about Fed expectations. The fact that they did not move in March, but now it looks like they could move in April, that’s going to be what everyone is watching for this week. And that does have the potential to keep the dollar now only supported, but to send it higher in the week ahead.”

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.

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Banking Sector

UBA Grows Profit by 33 Percent YoY, Declares 20k Per Share Interim Dividend in H1 2021

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Africa’s leading financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced its audited half year financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2021, showing impressive growth across all major income lines and performance indicators.

The pan African financial institution delivered a 33.4 per cent appreciation in its profit before tax which rose to N76.2bn as at June 2021, up from N57.1bn recorded in the same period of 2020, translating to an annualised Return on Average Equity of 17.5% as against 15.1% a year earlier.

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Bank of Ghana Holds Key Interest Rate at 13.5%

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Ghana’s central bank on Monday kept its main interest rate unchanged at 13.5% with concerns over rising inflation balanced out by optimistic Covid-19 recovery forecasts, Governor Ernest Addison said in a statement.

The Ghanaian economy grew by just 0.4% last year – its slowest rate since 1983. But it has gained ground in 2021, expanding 3.1% in the first quarter and 3.9% in the second.

The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee sees Ghana’s overall economic outlook continuing on an upward trajectory despite inflation having risen for a fourth month in a row in August.

“Developments continue to point to a sustained recovery in economic activity following the downturn at the peak of the pandemic,” Addison said.

“Given these considerations, and the fairly balanced risks to inflation and growth in the outlook, the committee decided to keep the policy rate unchanged,” he added.

Ghana’s consumer price inflation was at 9.7% year-on-year in August, with food inflation, the largest contributor to the country’s overall inflation rate, rising for a third straight month.

Although the inflation rate remains within the central bank’s targeted band of 8% plus or minus 2 percentage points, Addison cautioned that a close monitoring of the situation would be necessary to swiftly mitigate any impacts to local markets.

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Stanbic IBTC: Working Towards Net Zero Emissions

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Stanbic IBTC Bank- Investors King

As part of the Stanbic IBTC 2021 Sustainability Week event, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, organised a sustainability webinar tagged “Working Towards Net Zero Emissions”.

The objective of the virtual event which was held on Monday, 20 September 2021 via the Group’s #Bluetalks platform, was to promote public awareness on the impact of climate change and provide practical methods towards reducing carbon footprints and achieving net zero emissions.

Delivering his opening remark at the event, Dr. Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC said: “We all cannot continue to ignore our responsibility in the current changes to the climate. Through small adjustments leading to a more conscientious and sustainable lifestyle, each one of us can take part in the global climate protection project. As reflected in one of our strategic value drivers SEE (Social, Environmental and Economic) Impact, Stanbic IBTC is focused on ensuring it does business responsibly whilst positively impacting the society and environment where we operate. As such, the 2021 Stanbic IBTC Sustainability Week is an opportunity for us to advance awareness around practical steps we are taking, and more which we can take, to make our world a better place.”

The webinar featured seasoned experts including Temesoye Jack, Group Head, Sales, Banks, Gas Stations and SMEs, Starsight Energy; Professor Kenneth Amaeshi, Chair in Sustainable Finance and Governance at the European University Institute (EUI) and Oluwasegun Olajuwan, Group Chief Executive Officer, THLD Group.

Temesoye Jack stated that renewable energy sources like solar energy can help countries attain net zero emissions. She said, “Solar energy can help us move towards reducing greenhouse emissions. We need to have more energy efficient offices nationwide. However, this shift will not happen overnight as it is a gradual process.”

She explained that Nigeria has barely scratched the surface when it comes to renewable energy and emphasised that sustainable practices do not have to end in the office but must be observed in all areas of the country

Prof. Kenneth Amaeshi highlighted the importance of harmonising technology upgrades and sustainable growth to reduce carbon emissions. He explained that sustainability at the global level is targeted at mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

According to Prof. Kenneth, “From recent surveys, it is clear individuals are ready to go green. The affordability of clean energy will determine if we will be able to reduce carbon emissions.”

Speaking on practical steps that can be adopted to help in achieving net zero emissions, Oluwasegun Olajuwan, Group Chief Executive Officer, THLD Group, said “Autogas has been around for 40 years, and Nigeria is not fully embracing it. It is safer, cleaner and more cost effective than fossil fuel and diesel. Vehicle conversion from fuel to Autogas is affordable. CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is more efficient than fuel. The use of CNG in vehicles mitigates the emission of nitrous oxide and hydrocarbons by 40% and 90% respectively, compared to petrol.”

Omolola Fashesin, Head of Sustainability at Stanbic IBTC, thanked the panellists for the informative session, which helped create awareness of alternative sources that can help reduce carbon emissions. She urged the participants to apply learnings from the webinar to take practical steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

Finally, in his closing remarks, Kunle Adedeji, Executive Director Finance and Value Management stated that “at Stanbic IBTC, we are committed to facilitating a better and more sustainable future for all. We have already commenced various workstreams that will help us on the journey towards Net Zero emissions. Some of these include understanding our energy sources, consumption patterns and possible areas for efficiency; adoption of cleaner energy sources in our office locations (leveraging Autogas and Solar energy solutions); and adoption of Tree Planting programs which will help us with carbon sequestration.”

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