Connect with us

Markets

Economy: Yemi Kale Challenges Stakeholders on Quality Statistics

Published

on

dr-yemi-kale
  • Economy: Yemi Kale Challenges Stakeholders on Quality Statistics

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, has charged users, producers and suppliers of statistics to re-engineer efforts in production and usage of quality statistics in Nigeria.

Kale said this at the 2018 African Statistics Day celebration in Nigeria, with the theme “High Quality Official Statistics to ensure Transparency, Good Governance and Inclusive Development’’ on Monday in Abuja.

The statistician-general was represented by Dr Isiaka Olarewaju, the Director, Real Sector and Household Statistics, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

”Statistics is the lens through which government can be assessed objectively and remain transparent and accountable to the people.

“ In this regard, it is the statutory responsibility of all the relevant agencies concerned to provide government with comprehensive, reliable and timely data.

“A data that would help in formulating policies as well as monitoring and evaluating key programmes and projects.

“It is my expectation that the experiences which will be shared here will help the system to produce quality statistics for Nigeria. ‘’

Kale said as a nation, economic statistics were critical in assessing the macroeconomic performance of an economy.

He said statistics on macroeconomic variables such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, savings, investment, interest rate, inflation, trade, unemployment, poverty, and exchange rate among others were needed to guide suitable decision making process.

He said the production of good quality economic statistics was, therefore, needed to ensure transparency and good governance for a developing economy like ours to attain economic growth and development.

According to him, good governance leads to sustainable growth which eventually brings about inclusive development and better economic status for all citizens.

“Availability and appropriate use of high quality official statistics can translate into better lives for people through providing evidence-based policy and sound decision-making.’’

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr Sam Anja, representing Dr. Isiaka Olarewaju, stressed the need to promote statistical awareness in the country.

“For any meaningful development to be attained in any economy, the importance of reliable statistical information or key macro economic variables cannot be overemphasised.

“The NBS as the Statistical Body of Nigeria have consequently taken giant strides in areas of awareness.

“The bureau has designed the NBS quota by adding new features that make it user friendly, with these features; users have easy access to data sent.

“Besides the NBS library is been upgraded to e-library and NBS information unit has been upgraded to allow users have unhindered access to data.

“We must strive to institutionalise the use of statistics in our work and private dealing as the only way we can be able to achieve immeasurable and effective progress both as individuals and as a nation.

“ NBS will continue to play its role as advocate general in preaching and supplying the importance of statistics. ‘’

In his goodwill message, Mr Rasheed Bello, the country Director, World Bank , Nigeria, urged the Nigerian government to invest more on quality data.

He said:“it is time for the government of Nigeria to think about investing more on data to regularise a lot of these surveys to help develop policies based on evidence.’’

Also speaking at the event, a representative of Food and Agriculture Organisation(FOA), Mr Alphonsus Onwuemeka, said one of the challenges facing the country was the existence of official statistical system that were less optimal, very weak, uncoordinated and largely ineffectual.

Onwuemeka said this challenge limits policy makers, investors, citizens, international bodies from making informed decisions.

He said FAO was working with NBS and other institutions to develop the technical corporation project that would reinforce the competency of the National MDA’s to generate, analyse, store, disseminate capable and timely data.

A representative of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), urged stakeholders to prioritise the production of estimates of children living in poor households or who face multi-dimensional poverty on a daily basis.

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.

Continue Reading
Comments

Commodities

Back into Positive Territory

Published

on

Brent crude oil - Investors King
Prev1 of 2
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

By Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA

Stock markets are off to a positive start to the week in Europe and the US, in keeping with the price action we’ve seen over the last week since the new variant discovery.

Reports of the Omicron symptoms being less severe are boosting risk appetite but it’s too soon to get carried away. For one, we’ve seen this repeatedly since the initial news broke a little over a week ago. Markets have been very headline-driven and this is just the latest rally on the back of some positive reports.

While this may be the first in a slew of positive data around the new variant, it could also be the anomaly and what follows could explain why world leaders and various agencies have been so anxious. Let’s hope for the former but I expect extreme caution to remain until the data gives us cause for more optimism.

Weeks like this, the economic data would always play second fiddle but as it turns out, it’s looking a little thin on that front and central banks are in the same position as the rest of us. So the rest of the week will remain very Omicron headline-driven which will likely mean plenty more volatility.

By then, we may know a lot more which means the conversation can move on to the monetary response. Unfortunately, that comes too late for the RBA and BoC tomorrow and Wednesday, respectively, and perhaps just in time for the Fed, ECB, and BoE next week. If the news isn’t good on the variant then central banks are going to find themselves in an awful position, which could rock the boat somewhat.

Oil rebounds as Saudi Arabia boosts prices

Oil prices are bouncing back on Monday, up more than 2% after coming under significant stress last week. Reports of Saudi Arabia raising crude prices are apparently behind the move, although I’m not entirely convinced. Sure, it portrays confidence in the markets but it doesn’t alter the uncertain outlook in any way. I think it’s probably just a risk rebound as we’re seeing elsewhere.

Ultimately, the most bullish thing for prices is that Omicron is reportedly less severe and if more good news follows, we can all relax a little and the downside risks to the economy will abate. If the good news doesn’t follow, OPEC+ will pare back output and support prices that way. The question is how much the lows will be tested in the interim, if at all. Producers’ resolve has been tested before on many occasions.

Gold remains under pressure as USD creeps higher

Gold remains under pressure, as US yields at the shorter end of the curve and the dollar continue to creep higher. As is the case with every other asset class, the yellow metal will remain extremely sensitive to developments over the next couple of weeks as we learn how great a threat Omicron will pose and what the monetary response will be.

It’s found some support around $1,760 late last week where it has repeatedly done so since the middle of October. A move below here could see focus shift back towards $1,720 and then $1,680 which would be around the lows for this year.

Bitcoin partly recovers after crash

Bitcoin has had an eventful few days, having been pummelled on Saturday before recouping much of those losses. Whatever the cause of the flash crash, it hasn’t managed to fully reverse the losses and remains below $50,000. That could leave it vulnerable in the near term, especially with it struggling to track other risk instruments higher on the day. Bad news on Omicron could really put it under pressure.

Prev1 of 2
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Oil Gains on Saudi Arabia Price Increase

Published

on

Crude Oil - Investors King

Crude oil rose on the back of Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it has increased January oil prices to Asian and US customers.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark against which Nigerian oil is priced, appreciated to $71.90 a barrel on Monday at 12:12 pm Nigerian time after plunging to as low as $65.73 a barrel on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday announced it had raised January official selling prices for all crude oil grades sold to Asia and the United States by up to 80 cents from the previous month.

This was on the same day reports from South Africa suggested that Omicron was less harsh than previously thought. Still, it was uncertain why one of the world’s leading oil producers raised prices at a time OPEC + is upping production by 400,000 barrels per day and when uncertainty surrounding covid could erode global demand and force existing buyers to embrace competing grades.

“I am struggling to construct a positive narrative out of Saudi Arabia raising prices, especially as it makes competing grades more appealing to their client base. The best I can do is that Saudi Arabia feels confident raising prices despite higher OPEC+ production because it believes omicron is a storm in a test tube and that the global recovery will not be derailed. The South African reports have reinforced that sentiment,” said Jeffrey Halley, Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA.

US equity and Asian assets responded positively to Omicron’s report this morning, curbing further decline in the global assets from Friday’s decline. However, there is no certainty on the virus given the sample size. More research is needed to better understand the characteristics of the Omicron.

US Fed is now expected to raise interest rates twice in 2022 if it will curtail escalating inflation rate and compel more people to go back to work. Investors are now waiting for Friday’s consumer price report.

Continue Reading

Markets

Mild Symptoms….

Published

on

By Jeffrey Halley, Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA

US equity index futures are performing another omicron U-turn this morning, limiting the fallout in Asian markets of another fairly gruesome Wall Street session on Friday. The driver of the whip-saw return of serve omicron headline tennis comes from South Africa, where an article from the South African Medical Research Council, suggests that omicron symptoms were milder than previous incarnations, with hospitalised patients mostly having comorbidities. Of course, the sample size is small, but markets never let “the data” these days get in the way of narrative. Omicron variant milder = U-turn = buy everything.

Asia, having suffered so greatly in the delta wave, is understandably more cautious and now is also coming to grips with the reality of the Federal Reserve taper as well as China’s “shared prosperity,” property sector and tech-saga travails. It is no surprise that regional investors have refused to join in North America’s virus ping pong price action unless you are a retail FOMO-gnome inhabitant of Japan’s Nikkei, and South Korea’s Kospi.

Last Friday’s US Non-Farm Payrolls was dismal, adding just 210,000 jobs with a modest upward revision of 82,000 jobs to the October data. The soft data turned into a nil-all draw for markets though as the household employment data suggested 1.1 million jobs had been added, sending the unemployment rate plunging from 4.60% to 4.20%. There are still 10 million open jobs in America and the National Federation of Independent Business survey shows small businesses are crying out for workers. The participation rate remains a dire 61.80%, even as ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI and Business Activity, Employment sub-indexes outperformed.

The truth about employment clearly lies somewhere between the two headline numbers with the household survey likely more prone to exaggeration. Nevertheless, it seems clear that either the workforce has shrunk dramatically through early retirements for example, or Americans are so much wealthier, thanks to the Federal Reserve pimping up asset prices, that they feel no need to immediately return? In this respect, the Fed may have accidentally shot itself in the foot. Such is life in economics, cause, and effect.

Net-net, the overall data impact on Friday didn’t change the narrative surrounding a fast Fed taper and markets have now priced in two rate hikes by late 2022. Apart from allowing markets to fret over omicron into the end of the week, faster tapering and rate hikes impacted tasty valuations of tech stocks, but also lifted the US Dollar. The US bond market continues to behave interestingly though, with the curve flattening instead of steepening, as bond markets price in faster, but lower terminal rates from the FOMC, and remaining comfortable that the Fed has medium/long-term inflation under control.

Things are going to get very interesting if that narrative changes and its first challenge could come this Friday if US CPI prints at 7.0%+ YoY. Secondly, if more omicron outlooks hit the street this week suggesting it is more contagious but less aggressive, you can reasonably assume we have seen the lows in USD/JPY and USD/CHF and oil, but I suspect technology will still struggle at the expense of the denizens of the Dow Jones and Russel 2000. ASEAN will probably be the winner as well versus North Asia.

Of course, China issues have not disappeared and despite reassuring words from various state organs regarding China company US listing over the weekend, nerves surrounding China big-tech will continue. The property sector faces another reckoning this week as well after Evergrande announced on Friday it had received a $260 million repayment demand, and that it could not guarantee it would be able to meet liabilities going forward. That led to the Guangdong local government “sending in a team” to help manage operations. Evergrande and Kaisa face offshore payment deadlines today and tomorrow as well. There is still plenty of juice in this story into the year-end, with Hong Kong markets probably the more vulnerable. What has likely changed, is that the odds of a RRR cut by the PBOC have ramped up.

The data calendar is mostly second-tier this week in Asia except for the Reserve Bank of Australia and India’s latest policy decisions. Directional moves will be dominated by omicron, Evergrande/Kaisa and Friday’s US CPI data, ahead of a central bank policy decision frenzy around the world next week.

Today’s ANZ Job Advertisements, which rose by 7.40% MoM in November, is unlikely to sway the RBA from its ultra-cautious, release the doves, course. The policy statement will be the more interesting, with markets searching for signs of wavering of that course from the RBA. They are likely to be disappointed with omicron community infections in Australia leaving the central bank’s finger glued to the W for Wimp button. The RBI’s policy decision will be more interesting. Rates will remain unchanged, but with stagflation, I mean inflation, moving higher recently, the RBI may signal a rate hike or two are coming. That will be another headwind for local equities, although the Rupee may gain some support, assuming the RBI doesn’t provoke a stampede of international fast money out of local equities.

Oil is on the move today as well, with Saudi Arabia raising January prices to Asian and US customers by $0.60 a barrel over the weekend, although it cut official selling prices (OSPs) to European customers. Technically, that will make other grades of oil from other producers around the world more appealing to Asian buyers, but Brent crude and WTI are up by 2.0% today anyway. Given that OPEC+ is proceeding with its planned 400,000 bpd increase this month, it appears that Saudi Arabia is taking a punt that omicron is a virus in a teacup. Saudi Arabia’s confidence, along with the South African omicron article over the weekend, is a boost to markets looking for good news in any corner they can find it.

The section where Jeff talks about Bitcoin.

Finally, one “asset class” that didn’t enjoy any good news was the crypto space. Fresh from Singapore banning a local crypto exchange for promoting a coin illegally associated with a South Korean boy band, yep, cryptos are a maturing market with more institutional participants, Bitcoin and Ether slumped by around 20% on Saturday, before recovering over half of those losses. I am at a loss to why this happened, but I’ll take a wild guess. Cryptos trade in little islands of liquidity on centralised exchanges, there is not one venue aggregating liquidity. A large leveraged position or two had margin calls on Saturday, and the resulting selling triggered a perfect storm amongst other long positions in a low liquidity time period in isolated liquidity venues. Arbitrageurs would have had a field day. The automated “market makers” did what they do in any other asset class when the going gets tough, disappeared. (insert flash crash/asset class here)

Because cryptos are a rapidly maturing mainstream asset class, I applied an appropriately scientific approach to the problem. I did a voodoo dance threw chicken entrails into the air. When the chicken entrails landed, otherwise known as technical analysis, it actually suggests Saturday’s sell-off was in fact bullish. Bitcoin’s plummet to $42,000.00 was very near to the 61.80% Fibonacci retracement of the January to November rally. The 200-day moving average at $$46,400.00 also held on a closing basis. I’m not going to say the coast is clear until Bitcoin reclaims $53,000.00, though. It does look like Bitcoin is vulnerable to more downside liquidity events, so approach my voodoo dancing chicken entrails outlook with caution.

I look forward to my email inbox filling up tonight with strange people calling me an idiot and saying they all bought Bitcoin at $1.0. I will receive none from people saying I bought it at $67,000.00 and I wish I’d listened to you, Jeff. For me, I eagerly await the gigantic “institutional players” appearance to “stabilise markets.” Bueller? Bueller? Ferris Bueller?

Weaker omicron hopes lessen Friday fallout on Asian equities.

Asian equities are having a mixed day today after US index futures rallied this morning in hopes that omicron is a milder variant. That came after another torrid Wall Street session, where mixed signals from US employment data led to higher Fed tapering nerves mixed in with negative omicron sentiment. On Friday, the S&P 500 fell by 0.84%, the Nasdaq slumped by 1.92% and the Dow Jones outperformed, falling just 0.19%. A faster Fed taper and early rate hikes clearly benefit value versus growth at the moment, with the US yield curve flattening once again.

An abrupt reversal has occurred on initial reports that omicron is a weaker variant. Dow Jones futures have jumped by 0.65% today, while S&P 500 futures are 0.50% higher, with Nasdaq futures lagging, rising just 0.15%. It seems that positive omicron news will be expressed further by value outperforming growth against the background of a more hawkish FOMC.

That has taken the edge of Asian markets as well with the Nikkei 225 falling just 0.45% today, led by a 9.0% slump by Softbank. South Korea’s Kospi, by contrast, is 0.10% higher. Mainland China is outperforming after comments from officials and press over the weekend raised expectations of an imminent RRR cut and more lending. China’s “national team’ may also be around, “smoothing” markets. That sees the Shanghai Composite rising by 0.65% today, with the CSI 300 climbing 0.35%.

Hong Kong markets are enduring a torrid session with China big-tech stocks being hammered once again on delisting and crackdown nerves. Evergrande’s day of truth sees it trading 10% lower as well. The Hang Seng is down by 1.20%.

Regionally, Singapore is 0.80% higher, whiles Kuala Lumpur has fallen by 0.45% and Jakarta has risen by 0.55%. Taipei is 0.30% lower, with Manila rising by 1.20% and Bangkok falling 0.45%. Australian markets have also edged lower, the ASX 200 easing by 0.15%, and the All Ordinaries moving 0.30% lower.

Hong Kong aside, the positive omicron headlines, have encouraged Asian buy-the-dippers back into the market today, albeit unevenly. European markets are likely to seize on the omicron-is-weaker hopes as well and I expect Europe and the UK to open quite positively this afternoon. As ever, market direction and sentiment remains fragile. Although markets are desperate to grasp at any straws of hope on the virus front, we are one headline away from the straw being taken from our grasp and direction changing abruptly.

The US Dollar maintains its Fed tapering boost.

The US Dollar shrugged of a confused US employment data picture on Friday as markets put omicron to one side and priced in that a faster Fed taper from the FOMC remains on track to be announced next week. Markets have also priced in faster rate hikes as well, supporting the US Dollar even as the US yield curve flattens. The dollar index held steady at 96.15 on Friday, rising 12 points to 96.27 in Asia.

The rise in the dollar index has been driven by a reversal out of the haven Japanese Yen and Swiss France today as omicron worries subside for now. USD/JPY and USD/CHF have risen 0.16% and 0.28% to 113.00 and 0.9205 respectively. If the initial reports from South Africa turn out to be correct globally, markets have seen the lows in both pairs for some time.

Those currencies most associated with risk sentiment are finding very little respite though, namely the commonwealths and Euro. Instead of omicron, sentiment concerns have been replaced with a faster Fed taper and more rapid US interest rate hikes. EUR/SD and GBP/USD have edged lower to 1.1290 and 1.3235 today and remain a sell on any 50 to 100 point rally. AUD/USD has risen 0.30% to 0.7020 on firm ANZ jobs data, but NZD/USD remains stuck around 0.6760. Both remain vulnerable to deeper sell-offs this week and in the case of AUD/USD, it has formed a very negative head-and-shoulders technical pattern targeting a multi-week move to near 0.6000.

The PBOC set a weaker Yuan fixing today but USD/CNY has still eased 0.10% to 6.3685. Other Asian currencies are also enjoying a modest omicron respite, with MYR, KRW, PHP, SGD, and THB between 0.15% and 0.25% higher this morning. The longevity of the rally is entirely dependent on omicron headlines, as it is elsewhere. But being more sensitive as a region to US monetary policy, I believe gains will be limited at best by Asian currencies this week as Fed taper nerves ratchet higher. A higher than expected US CPI on Friday likely sees another wave of selling sweeping Asian FX as well as the Euro and commonwealths.

Saudi Arabia/Omicron lifts oil prices in Asia.

Oil prices eased on Friday on omicron fears, Brent crude falling 0.90% and WTI falling by 1.45%. The falls were modest though by recent standards where the intraday volatility had threatened to make oil almost untradeable. The commitment of traders positioning also shows a massive drawdown in speculative long positioning, making exposure more balanced, also a supportive factor.

Oil prices have rallied sharply in Asia after Saudi Arabia yesterday announced January price increases to Asian and US customers, and weekend reports from South Africa suggested omicron was less harsh than previous variants. Brent crude is 2.10% higher at $71.35 a barrel, and WTI is 2.0% higher at $67.75 a barrel.

I am struggling to construct a positive narrative out of Saudi Arabia raising prices, especially as it makes competing grades more appealing to their client base. The best I can do is that Saudi Arabia feels confident raising prices despite higher OPEC+ production because it believes omicron is a storm in a test tube and that the global recovery will not be derailed. The South African reports have reinforced that sentiment.

Whether that sentiment lasts or not, the relative strength indexes (RSIs) that I mentioned last week remain near oversold suggesting that any oil sell-offs from here will be shallower and shorter in nature. Brent crude needs to reclaim $73.00, and WTI $70.00 a barrel to tentatively say the lows are in place. If omicron is proven over the coming days (or weeks) to be less aggressive, even if it is more contagious, then we can say 100% last weeks lows were the bargain of the quarter, and possibly for H! 2022, for those brave enough to indulge.

Gold remains forgotten.

Gold remains side-lined, trading sideways on a closing basis, despite some decent intraday ranges. On Friday, thanks to a mixed US employment report leading to a flattening yield curve, gold managed to gain 0.88% to $1783.90 an ounce. In Asia, gold is barely changed, easing 0.10% lower to $1781.70 an ounce.

In the bigger picture, gold looks set to trade in a rough $1770.00 to $1800.00 an ounce range this week, unable to sustain momentum above or below those levels. The 50,100 and 200-day moving averages (DMAs), clustered between $1791.00 and $1793.00 provide immediate resistance, followed by $1800.00. Support lies at $1770.00 and $1760.00.

With the omicron outlook looking less bleak, and with longer-dated US yields continuing to fall, gold could well stage a modest recovery this week. However, with the US CPI data on Friday likely to print around 7.0%, gold remains a sell on rallies to $1810.00. A 7.0% print will raise the faster taper and rate hike noise ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting, and longer-dated yields could finally shake off their medium-term inflation lethargy. The balance of risks still favours a move lower towards $1720.00 an ounce.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending