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Stocks Slump as Treasury Yields Top 1.5% on Powell: Markets Wrap

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Stocks and bonds sold off after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell underwhelmed markets by refraining from pushing back more forcefully against the recent spike in Treasury yields.

The S&P 500 pared losses after briefly erasing its advance for 2021, but the gauge still headed toward its lowest close in about five weeks. Benchmark 10-year bond rates topped 1.5% as the dollar climbed. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 extended its decline from a February peak to almost 10%, and the Russell 2000 of small caps slid nearly 2.5%. Oil remained higher.

In an online event Thursday, Powell said he’d be “concerned” by disorderly markets, but stopped short of offering steps to curb volatility. The surge in Treasury yields has triggered fears about elevated stock valuations after a torrid rally from the depths of the pandemic. While bulls have decided to view the jump in rates as a sign of economic strength that could lift corporate profits, there’s been mounting concern over a potential pickup in consumer prices. For Bleakley Advisory Group’s Peter Boockvar, the Fed has put itself in a “tough situation,” and the only way out is if inflation doesn’t rise any further and stays below the 2% target.

“We are again seeing a market that is taking control of monetary policy from the Fed,” said Boockvar, the firm’s chief investment officer. “Long rates are rising right now because Powell is again very dovish. The more dovish they get in the face of market expectations of higher inflation, the more financial tightening we’ll see.”

Despite the lingering uncertainties about the impacts of rising bond yields, such fears are “misplaced,” according to Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager of global asset allocation at Fiera Capital.

“As long as the back-up in bond yields reflects stronger growth expectations (versus tighter monetary policy), then the long-term bull market will not be at risk,” she said. “The latest normalization in bond yields should be viewed as an encouraging sign that growth is healing, while the prospect for a hawkish turn from the Federal Reserve is clearly not in the cards today.”

Some key events to watch this week:
  • The February U.S. employment report on Friday will provide an update on the speed and direction of the nation’s labor market recovery.

These are some of the mains moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 fell 1.3% as of 3:06 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 2.4%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 2.6%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.6%.
  • The euro decreased 0.7% to $1.1974.
  • The Japanese yen depreciated 0.8% to 107.86 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose six basis points to 1.54%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to -0.31%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield decreased five basis points to 0.731%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude gained 3.9% to $63.65 a barrel.
  • Gold slid 0.9% to $1,696.54 an ounce.

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.

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Nigerian Stock Exchange

Stock Investors Lose Another N11 Billion on Wednesday

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Nigerian Exchange Limited - Investors King

The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) extended decline on Wednesday as sentiment remained weak across the Exchange.

Investors exchanged 155,773,059 shares valued at N1.510 billion in 3,256 transactions during the trading hours of Wednesday, in contrast to 184,442,908 shares worth N2.343 billion that exchanged hands in 3,809 transactions on Tuesday.

Market value depreciated by N11 billion to N20.243 trillion on Wednesday, further down from N20.254 trillion it closed on Tuesday. While NGX All-Share Index dipped by 0.05 percent to 38,852.69 index points.

Transcorp Hotel Plc led gainers with N0.45 or 10 percent. Followed by Pharm-Deko Plc’s N0.16 or 9.88 percent gain. See the details below.

Top Gainers

Symbols Last Close Current Change %Change
TRANSCOHOT N 4.50 N 4.95 0.45 10.00 %
PHARMDEKO N 1.62 N 1.78 0.16 9.88 %
CONOIL N 22.35 N 24.55 2.20 9.84 %
CORNERST N 0.49 N 0.53 0.04 8.16 %
NEM N 1.90 N 2.00 0.10 5.26 %

Top Losers 

Symbols Last Close Current Change %Change
VERITASKAP N 0.23 N 0.21 -0.02 -8.70 %
UCAP N 9.00 N 8.55 -0.45 -5.00 %
CHAMS N 0.22 N 0.21 -0.01 -4.55 %
ACCESS N 8.90 N 8.60 -0.30 -3.37 %
JAPAULGOLD N 0.47 N 0.46 -0.01 -2.13 %

Top Trades

Symbols Volume Value
UNIVINSURE 19040500.00 3808100.00
UBA 18778552.00 143097682.80
ZENITHBANK 11757422.00 268830997.45
GTCO 10015581.00 271262745.25
UCAP 8519588.00 74569386.55

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Bonds

Investors Renewed Confidence In Nigeria’s Economy Leads to Oversubscribed Eurobond

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The Debt Management Office (DMO) revealed that the $3 billion Eurobond offer was heavily oversubscribed, noting that investors were ready to invest $12.2 billion.

Consequently, the government decided to increase its initial offer value from $3billion to $4billion.

According to a statement on Tuesday night by the Debt Management Office (DMO), investors from, Nigeria, Europe, Asia and America demanded $12.2 billion for the notes.

“This exceptional performance has been described as ‘one of the biggest financial trades to come out of Africa in 2021 and an excellent outcome”, said the DMO in a statement.

“The size of the Order Book and the quality of investors demonstrate confidence in Nigeria”, the DMO said.

Nigeria opened its order book for the bond offering on Tuesday, aiming to issue the bond next week, according to a notice to investors.

The country issued the debt in tranches of three tenors.

It raised $1.25 billion for seven years at a yield of 6.125 percent and sold a 12-year bond at 7.375 percent to fetch $1.5 billion. A 30-year tranche of $1.25 billion was sold at 8.25 percent

The government had arranged a two-day call with investors last week and on Monday, with the DMO saying that the bond would be priced following the meetings.

The notice was set for Sept. 28 for the bond settlement, which will be listed on the London and Nigerian Stock Exchanges.

The Eurobonds are part of a government plan to raise 2.343 trillion naira ($5.71 billion) in external financing to help fund spending in 2021 and to partly finance the 5.6 trillion naira deficit.

“The long tenors of the Eurobonds and the spread across different maturities are well aligned with Nigeria’s Debt Management Strategy, 2020 – 2023”, the DMO said.

“Since the Eurobonds were issued as part of the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act, the raising of USD4 billion through Eurobonds provides a significant amount of funds to finance projects in the Act, thus contributing to the implementation of the 2021 Appropriation Act”, it added.

Nigeria picked JPMorgan, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs as international bookrunners, and local firm Chapel Hill Denham on the forthcoming Eurobond issue

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Bonds

Nigeria Opens Order Book For $3B Eurobond

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Eurobonds - Investorsking

Nigeria opened the order book for a $3 billion Eurobond offering on Tuesday, aiming to issue the bond next week, according to a notice to investors seen by Reuters.

The country is aiming to issue the debt in tranches of three tenors – a seven-year at a yield of 6.5 percent, a 12-year bond at 7.75 percent and a 30-year at up to 8.625 percent.

The government arranged calls last week and on Monday with global and local investors ahead of the planned issue.

The debt office has said the meetings will precede pricing for the bond to raise up to $3 billion but not more than $6.2 billion.

The notice was set for Sept. 28 for the bond settlement, which will be listed on the London and Nigerian Stock Exchanges.

The Eurobonds are part of a government plan to raise N2.343 trillion ($5.71 billion) in external financing to help fund spending in 2021 and to part finance the N5.6 trillion deficit.

Nigeria picked JPMorgan, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs as international bookrunners and local firm Chapel Hill Denham on the forthcoming Eurobond issue.

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