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Dollar Drops on Yellen Comments, China Shares Rise

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Dollar
  • Dollar Drops on Yellen Comments, China Shares Rise

The dollar weakened after Janet Yellen said it’s prudent for the Federal Reserve to gradually adjust policy over time, while Chinese equities extended gains as the world’s second-largest economy grew faster than forecast. Gold climbed for a second day.

The greenback slipped against major peers after the Fed chief’s speech. The Shanghai Composite Index rose the most in almost two weeks as China’s gross domestic product accelerated for the first time in two years in the final quarter of 2016. Japan’s Topix index swung within a half-percentage-point range, while equities from Hong Kong to Jakarta slipped. Gold headed for a fourth straight weekly advance as investors await the opening days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Rallies in the dollar and equities are easing this week before Trump is sworn in as the 45th American president, with investors growing increasingly anxious for indications the administration will follow through on pro-growth campaign promises. Legendary billionaire investor George Soros said the euphoria among stock investors since Trump’s victory will end as uncertainty takes over. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has churned in its tightest range ever over the past month.

“It’s clear that investors have reached a level where they are prepared to wait and see what the Trump administration has to offer,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets Asia Pacific Ltd. in Sydney.

In a speech at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy just a day before Trump’s inauguration in the U.S., Yellen argued that the Fed wasn’t behind the curve in containing inflation pressures but nevertheless can’t afford to allow the economy to run too hot. In a separate speech on Wednesday, Yellen said the Fed was close to achieving its goals of full employment and stable prices. The odds of another Fed rate hike as soon as May have risen to 50 percent from 42 percent a day ago, futures contracts show.

China’s economic data cemented an economic stabilization that’s giving leaders a buffer as they transition to neutral policy and prepare for potential trade tensions with Trump. GDP increased 6.8 percent in the three months through December from a year earlier, compared with a 6.7 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index retreated 0.3 percent as of 12:41 p.m. in Tokyo, after gaining as much as 0.1 percent earlier. The gauge is down 0.2 percent for the past five days, heading toward its fourth straight weekly loss. It touched the highest level in more than a decade earlier this month.
  • The yen added 0.2 percent to 114.60 per dollar, wiping out a decline of 0.2 percent and almost reversing a loss for the week. The Australian dollar climbed 0.3 percent, also erasing earlier losses.

Stocks

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent, with about 500 stocks declining and 360 advancing.
  • The Topix index fell as much as 0.2 percent and climbed as much as 0.3 percent. The gauge is headed for its fourth weekly decline in the past five weeks.
  • The Shanghai Composite gained 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.7 percent.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.5 percent, heading toward the biggest weekly decline since early December.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent. The underlying cash index fell 0.4 percent to the lowest in two weeks on Thursday. The Dow declined for a fifth straight day, the longest losing streak since Trump’s election victory.

Commodities

  • Gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,208.09 an ounce, on course for a fourth weekly climb. It’s up 0.9 percent this week, touching the highest level since November.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 2.45 percent, retreating after a two-day rally.

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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