The dollar weakened versus all of its major peers and gold jumped the most in two weeks as prospects for a U.S. interest-rate hike this year remained subdued. Equities declined in Europe and Asia as oil retreated.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index sank to its weakest since June ahead of U.S. reports on housing starts, inflation and industrial output. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell the most in two weeks as U.S. stock index futures declined. Japanese shares led losses in Asia as the yen climbed toward 100 per dollar. Crude snapped a three-day surge before American stockpiles data and nickel fell following its biggest jump of the month. U.K. government debt gained before the Bank of England conducts a bond-buying auction.
The dollar is losing ground and global equities are near a one-year year high as lackluster data in the world’s biggest economies fuel speculation the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates amid monetary easing in Asia and Europe. The probability of a U.S. interest-rate increase in 2016 is below 50 percent and the greenback has lost ground versus 15 of 16 major peers in the past month.
“The yen is being driven by the dollar’s weakness, spurred on by increasing expectations the Federal Reserve won’t raise rates this year,” said Nicholas Teo, a strategist at KGI Fraser Securities in Singapore. “If the Fed doesn’t move this year, there’s a risk of steeper moves next year. That’s very dangerous.”
U.S. data on Tuesday are forecast to show consumer prices were unchanged in July from the previous month, while housing starts were at about the same level as in June and industrial output gains slowed. The U.K. will also report on consumer-price growth, which will be the first hard data on how the economy performed in the month following the country’s June 23 vote to leave the European Union.
The yen strengthened 0.9 percent to 100.33 versus the greenback as of 8:12 a.m. London time, while Bloomberg’s dollar index sank 0.4 percent.
“The yen could test the 100 mark due to further softening of the dollar,” said Ray Attrill, co-head of foreign-exchange strategy at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney. “A sustained break of that level would up the pressure on the BOJ to take steps at its September meet to support it.”
The MSCI Emerging Market Currency Index climbed to its highest since June 2015 as South Korea’s won strengthened 0.9 percent and the currencies of Malaysia, Hungary and Poland gained at least 0.4 percent.
The pound rose 0.1 percent to $1.2893, after a Monday close of $1.2880 that was the weakest since June 1985. The currency has lost more than 2 percent this month versus the dollar, the worst performance among major currencies.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.6 percent, slipping for a third day.
Linde AG jumped 4.4 percent after it was reported to have held merger talks with Praxair Inc., a deal that would create the world’s largest supplier of industrial gases.
Futures on the S&P 500 were 0.2 percent lower, after the U.S. benchmark ended the last session at a record high. Asset managers in the U.S. are favoring stocks over Treasuries, while active equity funds are the most bullish since 2008, according to Bank of America Corp.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares fell 0.2 percent, extending Monday’s retreat from a one-year high. Japan’s Topix index slid 1.4 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index retreated from its best close since January. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed near a nine-month high.
Bank of Guiyang Co. soared by the 44 percent daily limit on its first day of trading in Shanghai even after a spate of warnings that the nation’s bad loans are understated and lenders may need bailouts in coming years. Jet Airways India Ltd. declined for a sixth day in Mumbai after reporting a 54 percent drop in first-quarter profit.
Oil fell 0.8 percent to $45.37 a barrel in New York as the market weighed expectations for U.S. stockpiles rising further from a record against speculation that informal OPEC talks next month may revive discussions to freeze output. It jumped 10 percent over the last three trading sessions as Saudi Arabia indicated it’s prepared to discuss stabilizing the market. U.S. crude inventories probably increased by 900,000 barrels, rising for a fourth week and keeping supplies above the five-year average for this time of year.
Most industrial metals slipped after an index of the main contracts traded on the London Metal Exchange posted the biggest gain in two weeks on Monday. Nickel dropped 1.5 percent in London, after climbing 2 percent in the last session, and zinc was down 0.3 percent.
Gold added 0.7 percent, buoyed by expectations U.S. interest rates won’t be raised anytime soon. Platinum gained more than 1 percent.
The U.K.’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 0.52 percent, near a record low, before the Bank of England seeks to buy 1.17 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) of debt due in more than 15 years as part of its expanded quantitative-easing program. The central bank fell short of achieving a similar target at last week’s bond-buying auction, spurring gains in longer-dated gilts.
The yield on U.S. Treasuries due in a decade fell three basis points to 1.53 percent. Rates on similar-maturity debt in Germany and Japan decreased by about one basis point to minus 0.09 percent and minus 0.10 percent, respectively.
Noble Group Ltd.’s dollar-denominated bonds fell for a second day after the Singapore-listed commodity trader’s debt rating was cut two levels by Moody’s Investors Service, which said liquidity could come under pressure over the next 12 months amid weaker-than-expected profitability. The notes due 2020 fell to 77.26 cents on the dollar, giving a yield of 15.52 percent.
Buhari Leaves Abuja To Attend African Finance summit in Paris
President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Sunday for Paris, France, on a four-day official visit to attend African Finance Summit.
The Summit according to the statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja is expected to focus on reviewing the African economy, following shocks from the Coronavirus pandemic, and getting relief, especially from increased debt burden on countries.
The statement further explained that the Summit, to be hosted by President Emmanuel Macron, will draw major stakeholders in the global financial institutions and some Heads of Government, who will, collectively, discuss external funding and debt treatment for Africa, and private sector reforms
“During the visit, President Buhari will meet with the French President to discuss growing security threats in Sahel and Lake Chad region, political relations, economic ties, climate change and partnership in buoying the health sector, particularly in checking the spread of Covid-19, with more research and vaccines, ” it said.
Shehu in the statement said before returning to Nigeria, President Buhari will receive some key players in the oil and gas sector, engineering and telecommunications, European Council and European Union Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Commission, and members of the Nigerian community.
The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, and Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
Also on the trip are National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Mohammed Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
Restructure Nigeria Before 2023 Polls, Afenifere Tells Buhari
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Friday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to bury the idea of holding elections before restructuring the country.
The Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who made the call at the group’s meeting held at his Ogbo residence in Odogbolu local government area of Ogun State, said: “there must be a country before elections are held”.
Adebanjo said: “We urge Buhari to bury the idea of holding an election before returning to federalism by restructuring the country.
“There must be a country before elections are held, it would be patriotic of him to heed this advice. If Gen. Buhari is sincere about keeping the country together, he must restructure the country now this is the only answer to halt the disintegration of the country. To save Nigeria, restructure the country now.
“We should be proud as inheritors of a noble heritage, the party (Afenifere) was founded on the political philosophy of federalism due to the multi-ethnic, multilingual, multicultural and multi-religious nature of our country”.
“Failure to adhere to this principle has been the cause of the instability that has plagued our country since Independence. Our consistent advocacy for the restructuring of the country to federalism is based on the founding philosophy of the party”.
“It is for this reason that the founding leader of the party is known as the father of federalism in Nigeria”.
“It is the only political system that can keep the country together in peace. It is mischievous for President Buhari’s government to accuse advocates of restructuring as secessionist and separatists”.
“It is the system that our founding fathers, The Saudarna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmad Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe agreed to before the British government granted us independence in 1960, after the collapse of Macpherson constitution in 1953”.
“The present constitution which is the cause of instability in the country is imposed on us by the military-dominated by Northern Muslims after the coup of 1966”.
“The clamor for the return of the country to federalism is born out of the obnoxious provision in the constitution which has made economic and political progress impossible and this has been the main cause of instability in the country”.
“Our resolve for the restructuring of the country back to federalism is unshakeable. We assert we are no secessionist. It is those who oppose restructuring that are enemies of a United Nigeria. That all opponents of restructuring give impetus to secessionists”.
“We do not believe in the National Assembly which is a product of this fraudulent constitution to amend the constitution, it is immoral and illogical for a product of fraud to amend the fraud.
Six years ago, I warned the nation of the danger of voting for Gen. Muhammad Buhari, I accused him of being a feudalist by birth, a dictator by training and a religious fanatic”.
“I accused him of being a tribalist who has no respect for the rule of law. We were bombarded with the propaganda that he will ruthlessly fight corruption which they said was the bane of Jonathan administration”.
“They even told us that as a military man, he would wipe out Boko Haram in 6 months. But after six years in office, we now know better. Buhari has failed in his promises to the electorate”.
“Our economy is in tatters, corruption is growing in arithmetical proportion. Our security has collapsed to the extent that Buhari’s government has become so helpless that it now negotiates with Bandits who are so powerful that they dictate the terms of the negotiation. Kidnapping, murder, rape and various acts of criminality pervade the length and breadth of the country unabated”.
“The clamour for Gen. Buhari to resign or be impeached is growing louder and louder every day”.
“As a cover-up for his misdeeds, Gen. Buhari has resorted to silence the opposition by raising the false alarm that former military officers and prominent leaders of the ethnic organization and some Emirs are planning a meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in him. You will wonder even if that allegation is true when is it illegal or unconstitutional in a democracy for citizens to associate. Freedom of association is embedded in our constitution”.
“He also raises a false alarm that people are planning a coup. I assert Gen. Buhari has failed woefully, he has no clue about the problems facing Nigeria. He should go now before he plunged the country into a crisis the end of which nobody can foretell”.
“The Yoruba people are the only ethnic group that has never called for secession. We have invested in a united Nigeria that we will resist any act that will lead to its break up. We will be in Nigeria as equal partners in a federal Nigeria. A Nigeria in which we will play a second fiddle is most unacceptable”.
Therefore, our irreducible minimum condition of staying in Nigeria is a restructured Nigeria. Anything short of that is ‘‘to thy tent, oh Isreal.” The unity of the horse and the rider in which a section of the country is the rider and we the horse is most unacceptable.
Afenifere by our resilience and consistency over the years has proved to be the most reliable and dependable organization in the country”.
“I assert very confidently that from the First Republic we are the only national party in the country”.
“It is our consistent and persistent agitation for the right of minorities that has given birth to Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states in the South and Benue, Plateau, Borno, Kwara and the Adamawa States in the North”.
“Our party manifesto of Free Education, Free Health and Integrated Rural Development as successfully implemented in the West is not confined to Yoruba land but applicable and implementable beyond Yoruba land across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“Afenifere is the beacon of progressive politics. The political philosophy of federalism propagated by our leader the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo is now the sing-song all over the country today.
I hereby appeal to all our members who for one reason or another have sojourned in the other parties to come back home, you will be welcome with open arms. There is room for the youth to rise to leadership on the merit of their performance.
“It is cheering that the call for the restructuring is no longer limited to Afenifere, PANDEF and Middle-Belt forum, The Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum have joined the crusade”.
While declaring the group support to the decisions of the Southern governors in their efforts towards tackling the problem of insecurity facing the country, Chief Adebanjo said, “Afenifere welcomes and endorse fully the resolution of the Southern Governors Forum. And we hope Gen. Buhari in the interest of Nigeria unity, peace, tranquillity and economic progress give serious attention to the recommendation”.
ICPC Declares Buhari’s Son-In-Law, Two Others Wanted For $65M Fraud
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) has declared Gimba Kumo, a son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, and two others wanted over alleged misappropriation of $65 million National Housing Funds.
Mr. Kumo, a former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, had in 2016 married Fatima, the president’s daughter, in Daura, Katsina State.
The ICPC in its list of wanted persons declared Mr. Kumo wanted alongside Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola over the alleged fraud.
In the notice signed by its spokesperson Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC urged the public to provide information about the whereabouts of the wanted persons.
“The persons whose pictures appear above, Mr. Tarry Rufus, Mr. Gimba Yau Kumo, and Mr. Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared WANTED by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with issues bordering on misappropriation of National Housing Funds and diversion of the sum of Sixty Five Million dollars ($65,000,000).
“Anyone who has useful information on their whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices, or the nearest police station” the notice read.
In April, the senate committee on public accounts had summoned Mr. Kumo to explain the alleged irregular award of N3 billion contract when he was still at the bank.
The committee issued the summons following a query raised in a 2015-2018 report by the office of the auditor-general of the federation (AuGF) against the FMBN.
According to the report, the contract was awarded in four phases and was overpaid to the tune of N3,045,391,531.97.
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