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Market Performance Remains Negative on Profit Taking

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Nigerian Exchange Limited - Investors King
  • Market Performance Remains Negative on Profit Taking

The performance of the stock market remained negative thursday as profit taking persisted. However, the decline was marginal as sentiments were mixed. Although price gainers outnumbered price losers, losses suffered by bellwether stocks made the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) to remain in the negative territory. The NSE ASI shed 0.05 per cent to close lower at 25,514.03.

Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc led the price losers with 9.7 per cent trailed by Guinness Nigeria Plc, which went down by 4.2 per cent. African Prudential Registrars Plc and Access Bank Plc declined by 3.7 per cent and 3.5 per cent per cent in that order. NASCON Allied Industries Plc closed 2.9 per cent lower just as Diamond Bank Plc shed 2.1 per cent.

Forte Oil Plc and FCMB Group Plc dipped by 1.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively, while Zenith Bank Plc went down by 1.4 per cent.

Zenith Bank is losing value a day after the shareholders approved its final dividend of N55.573 billion final dividend for the year ended December 31, 2016.

On the positive side, Lafarge Africa Plc maintained the number spot on the gainers’ chart, rising by 8.4 per cent to close at N41.00 per share. The stock had similarly led the price gainers the previous day as investors reacted to the 105 kobo dividend the cement manufacturing firm recommended for 2016 year.

Although the dividend is lower than the 300 kobo paid the previous year, market operators said they least expected any dividend from Lafarge Africa Plc given its nine months results that showed N40 billion loss.

Lafarge Africa Plc reported a profit after tax of N16.8 billion as a result of tax credit of N39.71 billion. The profit was 38 per cent lower than the N27 billion profit recorded in 2015.

But for the tax credit, which came mainly from deferred tax assets generated from Unicem operations, the company would have ended 2016 with a loss before tax of N22.8 billion.

The Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa, Mr. Michel Puchercos, had said the immediate objective of the company is to deliver fully on “our turnaround plan by optimising our processes, developing our alternative fuel strategy, reducing operational costs to deliver strong EBITDA margins returning to historic levels.”

Apart from Lafarge, Learn Africa Plc also appreciated yesterday, chalking up 4.6 per cent. Livestock Feeds Plc garnered 4.6 per cent, while Sterling Bank Plc and Fidson Healthcare Plc appreciated by 4.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Falls for Second Consecutive Month, OPEC Reports

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Crude Oil

Nigeria’s crude oil production declined for the second consecutive month in March, according to the latest report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Data obtained from OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2024 reveals that Nigeria’s crude oil production depreciated from 1.322 million barrels per day (mbpd) in February to 1.231 mbpd in March.

This decline underscores the challenges faced by Africa’s largest oil-producing nation in maintaining consistent output levels.

Despite efforts to stabilize production, Nigeria has struggled to curb the impact of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, which continue to plague the industry.

The theft and sabotage of oil infrastructure have resulted in significant disruptions, contributing to the decline in crude oil production observed in recent months.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) recently disclosed alarming statistics regarding oil theft incidents in the country.

According to reports, the NNPCL recorded 155 oil theft incidents within a single week, these incidents included illegal pipeline connections, refinery operations, vessel infractions, and oil spills, among others.

The persistent menace of oil theft poses a considerable threat to Nigeria’s economy and its position as a key player in the global oil market.

The illicit activities not only lead to revenue losses for the government but also disrupt the operations of oil companies and undermine investor confidence in the sector.

In response to the escalating problem, the Nigerian government has intensified efforts to combat oil theft and vandalism.

However, addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach, including enhanced security measures, regulatory reforms, and community engagement initiatives.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Edge Higher Amidst Fear of Middle East Conflict

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Crude Oil

Amidst growing apprehensions of a potential conflict in the Middle East, oil prices have inched higher as investors anticipate a strike from Iran.

The specter of a showdown between Iran or its proxies and Israel has sent tremors across the oil market as traders brace for possible supply disruptions in the region.

Brent crude oil climbed above the $90 price level following a 1.1% gain on Wednesday while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) hovered near $86.

The anticipation of a strike, believed to be imminent by the United States and its allies, has cast a shadow over market sentiment. Such an escalation would follow Iran’s recent threat to retaliate against Israel for an attack on a diplomatic compound in Syria.

The trajectory of oil prices this year has been heavily influenced by geopolitical tensions and supply dynamics. Geopolitical unrest, coupled with ongoing OPEC+ supply cuts, has propelled oil prices nearly 18% higher since the beginning of the year.

However, this upward momentum is tempered by concerns such as swelling US crude stockpiles, now at their highest since July, and the impact of a hot US inflation print on Federal Reserve rate-cut expectations.

Despite the bullish sentiment prevailing among many of the world’s top traders and Wall Street banks, with some envisioning a return to $100 for the global benchmark, caution lingers.

Macquarie Group has cautioned that Brent could enter a bear market in the second half of the year if geopolitical events fail to materialize into actual supply disruptions.

“The current geopolitical environment continues to provide support to oil prices,” remarked Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy for ING Groep NV in Singapore. However, he added, “further upside is limited without a fresh catalyst or further escalation in the Middle East.”

The rhetoric from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reaffirming a vow to retaliate against Israel, has only heightened tensions in the region.

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Commodities

Geopolitical Uncertainty Drives Gold Prices Higher Despite Fed Rate Cut Concerns

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gold bars - Investors King

As tensions simmer in the Middle East and concerns loom over Federal Reserve policy, gold continues its upward trajectory, defying expectations and reinforcing its status as the ultimate safe-haven asset.

The latest surge in gold prices comes amidst escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Reports suggest that the United States and its allies are bracing for potential missile or drone strikes by Iran or its proxies on military and government targets in Israel. Such a significant escalation in the six-month-old conflict has sent shockwaves through financial markets, prompting investors to seek refuge in gold.

Despite initial setbacks earlier in the week, gold resumed its blistering rally, buoyed by the specter of geopolitical uncertainty.

On Wednesday, the precious metal witnessed its most significant decline in almost a month following a hotter-than-expected US inflation readout.

This unexpected data led traders to recalibrate their expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate cuts this year, causing the yield on 10-year Treasuries to surge above 4.5%.

However, gold’s resilience in the face of shifting market dynamics remains remarkable. Even as concerns mount over the Fed’s rate-cutting trajectory, the allure of gold as a safe-haven asset persists.

Prices hover just shy of a record high reached earlier in the week, propelled by robust buying from central banks.

Market analysts interviewed by Bloomberg anticipate further gains in gold prices, citing continued geopolitical tensions and strong momentum in the market.

The precious metal’s near-20% rally since mid-February underscores its enduring appeal as a hedge against uncertainty and inflationary pressures.

At 9:54 a.m. in Singapore, spot gold rose 0.3% to $2,341.58 an ounce, signaling continued investor confidence in the metal’s resilience.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, meanwhile, remained relatively unchanged near its highest level since November.

Silver, often considered a bellwether for precious metals, held steady after reaching a three-year high, while platinum and palladium also registered gains.

As the world navigates through a complex web of geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties, gold remains a beacon of stability in an increasingly volatile landscape.

Its ability to weather market fluctuations and maintain its allure as a safe-haven asset reaffirms its timeless appeal to investors seeking refuge amidst uncertainty.

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