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ECB Says It Can Shield Euro Area From Global Finance Instability

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ECB
  • ECB Says It Can Shield Euro Area From Global Finance Instability

The European Central Bank is confident it will be able to continue shielding the euro area from the risk of a sudden correction in asset prices, after political events such as the election of Donald Trump threaten to increase volatility in coming months.

“We are certainly seeing a correction coming from the U.S.,” ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Matt Miller. “The ECB will continue to exert its stabilizing role, so I don’t think there will be significant contagion to Europe.” Constancio spoke on the occasion of the publication of the ECB’s twice-yearly Financial Stability Review.

The report warns that the risk of an abrupt global market correction has intensified on the back of widespread political uncertainty, posing a threat to banks, stability and economic growth. While the policies of incoming President Trump may lead to higher spending and faster inflation in the U.S., their effect on the euro area is difficult to gauge given the possibility of protectionist tit-for-tats and higher chances of populist victories in votes across the continent.

“More volatility in the near future is likely and the potential for an abrupt reversal remains significant,” according to the Frankfurt-based central bank. “Elevated geopolitical tensions and heightened political uncertainty amid busy electoral calendars in major advanced economies have the potential to reignite global risk aversion and to trigger a major confidence shock.”

For Constancio, U.S. expansionary policies may be accompanied by “some protectionist measures which would then reduce the impact on other parts of the world.” He said the recent rally in asset prices will only become sustained in Europe if inflation and growth in the region pick up, while a recent appreciation of the dollar won’t have a major effect on the continent as it did for emerging markets.

The U.S. elections capped a period of unexpected political results that started with the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union, and that could continue as the region’s main economies face elections in coming months where populist and nationalist movements are slated to make inroads.

Compared to its previous report six months ago, the central bank increased its concern over a “global risk repricing leading to financial contagion, triggered by heightened political uncertainty in advanced economies and continued fragilities in emerging markets.”

While the currency bloc’s economy and financial system have remained resilient so far, more political instability in coming months may put pressure on weak banks and countries with high sovereign debt. The central bank flagged the risk of a return of market pressure on the region’s weakest countries as the spread of populism hinders reforms.

“Higher political uncertainty may lead to more domestically focused, growth-hindering policy agendas,” the report said. “This, in turn, could delay much needed fiscal and structural reforms and could in a worst-case scenario reignite pressures on more vulnerable sovereigns.”

Vulnerable Banks

“We are in a new phase of weaker world trade” Constancio said in a press conference. “If, on top of that, there would be a wave of protectionist measures, world trade, and world growth would suffer.”

The ECB vice president confirmed that the despite the risk build-up, the ECB still sees euro-area growth around 1.6 percent in 2017, with inflation rising to about 1.25 percent in the spring. Even so, he stressed that some of the region’s lenders remain weak and need to continue addressing excessive costs and a high burden of non-performing loans.

“Vulnerabilities remain significant for euro-area banks,” the central bank said in its report. “Profitability prospects overall remain low across the euro area in a subdued economic growth environment.”

Even so, the U.S. election results spurred a pick-up in bank stocks as investors saw the risk of ever tighter regulation recede. If sustained, this would “provide some support for euro area banks’ profitability prospects,” according to the ECB.

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.

Naira

Daily Naira Exchange Rates; Thursday, May 6, 2021

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Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

Naira depreciated further at the parallel market on Thursday as the local currency traded at N485 to a United States Dollar. The Nigerian Naira exchanged at N676 to a British Pound and N585 to a Euro as shown below.

Naira Black Market Exchange Rates

Morning * Midday** Evening *** Final Rates

Date USD GBP EURO YUAN Canadian Australian
NGN BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL
06/05/2021 480/485 665/676 575/585 62/69 395/405 292/320

Bureau De Change Naira Rates

Date

USD

GBP

EURO

NGN

BUY/SELL

BUY/SELL

BUY/SELL

06/05/2021

475/482

663/676

575/587

06/05/2021

475/482

663/676

575/587

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Official Naira Rates

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Forex

CBN Extends N5/$ Incentive Period to Boost Dollar Inflow

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Godwin Emefiele - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the N5 per US Dollar incentive on forex remittance indefinitely to boost liquidity and further deepen economic recovery.

The initiative was scheduled to end on May 8. It was introduced to encourage recipients of dollars to use formal banking channels and help the central bank capture such inflows to boost the stability of the local currency, which has been under pressure after oil prices plunged last year.

“We hereby announce the continuation of the scheme until further notice,” the regulator said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The naira has been devalued three times since last year after a sharp drop in oil earnings, which accounts for 90% of foreign-exchange inflows, and remittances from workers abroad led to a dollar crunch in the West African nation, which produces the most crude in Africa. The local unit traded for 410.31 on the investors and exporters window, also called Nafex, as of 8:51 a.m. in Lagos.

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US Dollar

Dollar Falls as Risk Appetite Improves, Sterling Dips on BoE

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US Dollar - Investorsking.com

The dollar dropped to its lowest point in three days on Thursday as global market risk appetite improved, while sterling zig-zagged after the Bank of England slowed the pace of its bond-buying, but left interest rates unchanged.

Fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, data showed, as COVID-19 vaccination efforts and massive amounts of government stimulus led to a further reopening of the economy.

While the U.S. economy has been gaining steam, Federal Reserve speakers on Wednesday downplayed the risks of higher inflation.

Those statements reinforced “the lower-for-longer mentality with regards to interest rates,” making the greenback less appealing, said Neil Jones, head of FX sales at Mizuho.

The safehaven U.S. dollar was last down 0.31% at 91.977 against a basket of peer currencies.

“What we’ve seen early in New York is a little bit of back-and-forth gyrations, just because of the Bank of England meeting,” said Erik Bregar, director and head of FX strategy at the Exchange Bank of Canada.

The Bank of England said it would slow the pace of its bond-buying as it sharply increased its forecast for Britain’s economic growth this year after its coronavirus slump, but it stressed it was not tightening monetary policy.

“They kept their QE target in place but they said they are going to reduce the weekly pace of purchases, but that’s not a signal and so sterling has kind of gone up and down and done nothing at the end of the day,” Bregar said.

The pound was last down 0.08% against the weaker dollar at $1.3900 .

The euro was up 0.47% versus the dollar at $1.2061 , and up 0.65% against the pound, at 86.88 pence per euro.

Investors were also paying attention to elections in Scotland that could herald a political showdown over a new independence referendum.

The Australian dollar fell sharply overnight when China said it would stop its economic dialogue with Australia, but the currency had recovered to trade close to flat on the day as European markets opened.

The Aussie was up 0.1% versus the U.S. dollar at 0.77515 at 1028 GMT, having hit as low of 0.7701 overnight.

The New Zealand dollar also dropped and was down 0.1% on the day.

“The announcements of the formal suspension of the economic dialogue between China and Australia should not have a lasting impact on markets given the already strained relationship between the two ahead of the event,” wrote ING strategists in a note to clients.

The Canadian dollar hit a three-and-a-half year high, helped by oil price gains and the Bank of Canada’s recent shift to more hawkish guidance.

In cryptocurrencies, ether traded around $3,500 after reaching a record high of $3,559.97 on Tuesday, skyrocketing nearly 800% this month.

Bitcoin declined 0.2% to $57,392.75.

The meme-based virtual currency Dogecoin soared on Wednesday to an all-time high, extending its 2021 rally to become the fourth-biggest digital coin.

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