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European Stocks Rise as Fed Outlook Sinks Dollar; Brent Near $50

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stocks

European shares rose for the first time in a week and emerging markets advanced as a gauge of commodities climbed for the sixth straight day and minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting damped prospects for a U.S. interest-rate hike.

Miners led gains on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index and energy producers also rallied after Brent crude traded above $50 a barrel, while an MSCI index of emerging-market equities advanced to a one-year high. The dollar weakened versus all of its major peers following the release of the Fed record, which showed officials saw little risk of a sharp uptick in inflation and pushed odds of a rate increase this year back below 50 percent. The pound surged on a jump in U.K. retail sales.

Speculation that central banks in the world’s biggest economies will remain accommodative amid uneven growth propelled global equities to a one-year high this month and sent the dollar tumbling. The Fed minutes struck a more dovish tone when compared with comments this week from New York Fed chief William Dudley, who flagged the prospect of a rate hike as soon as next month. Dudley will hold a press briefing on Thursday in New York and his San Francisco counterpart, John Williams, is also due to speak.

“The message appears to be that as much as a September hike is a possibility, the Fed is unlikely to move until there is a consensus on the outlook for growth, hiring and inflation,” said Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney. “Recent data would therefore suggest a hike is not imminent.”

Stocks

The Stoxx 600 added 0.7 percent at 10:19 a.m. in London, with all industry groups rising.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S surged 10 percent after increasing its annual guidance. Nestle SA, which has the highest weighting in the Stoxx 600, advanced 1.2 percent as Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke forecast pricing will rebound in the coming months, after the world’s biggest food company reported the slowest first-half sales growth since 2009.

S&P 500 futures were little changed, after shares eked out gains on Wednesday following the release of the Fed minutes. Cisco Systems Inc. fell 1.6 percent in German trading after the biggest maker of equipment that runs the Internet announced plans to cut about 7 percent of its workforce.

As well as jobless claims data, investors will look to earnings reports from companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for indications of the state of the U.S. economy. Fewer than 30 of the S&P 500’s companies have yet to report. Of those that have already done so, 78 percent beat profit projections and 56 percent topped sales predictions.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.7 percent, led by technology stocks. Tencent Holdings Ltd. jumped to an all-time high after a 47 percent surge in profit beat analysts’ estimates. Samsung Electronics Co. also climbed to a record. The two stocks have the biggest weightings in the MSCI equity benchmark.

Japan’s Topix index dropped 1.6 percent, while the Philippine Stock Exchange Index erased losses after the government reported better-than-expected economic growth for the second quarter.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3 percent, approaching a three-month low. It posted a 0.2 percent gain on Wednesday, having been up as much as 0.5 percent ahead of the Fed minutes’ publication.

Britain’s pound was the biggest winner against its U.S. counterpart, climbing after a report showed U.K. retail sales jumped more than economists forecast in the month after Britain voted to quit the European Union. Sterling strengthened 0.9 percent to $1.3160.

The Aussie climbed 0.4 percent after a report showed Australia’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 5.7 percent in July.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index added 0.2 percent, after falling 0.5 percent on Wednesday. South Africa’s rand was among the biggest gainers, rising 0.4 percent, while Mexico’s peso and Malaysia’s ringgit both appreciated a similar amount.

Mongolia’s tugrik fell for a record 24th day even as the central bank raised its key rate to 15 percent from 10.5 percent.

Commodities

The Bloomberg Commodity Index was set for the most enduring rally in more than two months as the dollar weakened.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose for a sixth day, the longest advance in more than a year, as U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles dropped from the highest seasonal level in at least two decades. Oil added 0.4 percent to $46.96 a barrel after gaining more than 12 percent over the previous five sessions. Brent added as much as 0.4 percent to trade above $50 for the first time in more than a month.

Industrial metals also rose, with copper gaining 1.4 percent to $4,839 a metric ton and nickel adding 1.5 percent.

Bonds

Treasuries due in a decade were little changed, leaving the yield at 1.56 percent. Morgan Stanley recommends buying five-year notes, saying the absence of inflationary pressures in the world’s biggest economy will push the probability of a Fed rate increase this year to 30 percent in coming weeks. The likelihood was 49 percent on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Fed fund futures.

The yield on Australia’s 10-year bonds fell four basis points to 1.87 percent, while that on similar-maturity notes in Germany declined one basis point to minus 0.06 percent.

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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Forex

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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