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All Eyes on the Jobs Report

Stock markets in Europe opened positively on Friday after what has been an otherwise rotten week, while Asia was fairly mixed ahead of the US jobs report.

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capital market - Investors King

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

Stock markets in Europe opened positively on Friday after what has been an otherwise rotten week, while Asia was fairly mixed ahead of the US jobs report.

It will be interesting to see whether Europe can maintain the rebound today considering we’re heading into the weekend not certain that gas will start flowing through Nord Stream 1 again tomorrow. Grid data suggests it will but until the gas starts actually flowing, it remains a risk. That weekend risk may make investors a little nervous as we progress through the session and could lead to more caution as we approach the close.

The US jobs report could also be a negative catalyst later in the session if it’s deemed strong enough to warrant more aggressive tightening from the Fed. We’ve seen a lot more risk aversion in the markets recently as Fed commentary has finally gotten through to investors.

We’re still seeing remarkable resilience in the US data, particularly the labour market, even if some cracks are appearing elsewhere. While the NFP and unemployment will naturally attract the most attention initially, it’s the wages that could tip the balance at the central bank, with policymakers concerned about inflation becoming entrenched.

Will Japan intervene as the yen hits a 24-year low?

The yen has been back in focus in recent days, having fallen to a 24-year low against the dollar on Thursday, breaking above 140 in the process. This level has been speculated a lot about in recent months as being the point at which Japanese officials may be tempted to intervene in the markets and comments overnight could further fuel that, with one spokesperson warning moves are being watched with a high sense of urgency.

That doesn’t appear to have happened yet and we’re not likely to see any shift from the Bank of Japan either if recent commentary is anything to go by. While inflation is currently above its target, that’s not expected to last and there’s seemingly little appetite to change course. That could mean further declines in the yen until intervention is deemed necessary, although the threat of such action could slow the decline as we’ve already seen.

JCPOA talks seemingly stall but Macron remains confident

Oil prices are higher today after falling close to their summer lows over the course of the week. The rebound comes as nuclear talks between Iran and the US appear to have stalled, with the former claiming they had sent a “constructive” response to proposals and the latter quickly deeming them “not constructive”. While Macron remains hopeful that a deal can be concluded in the coming days, I’m not sure everyone else shares his optimism.

If a deal on the JCPOA is reached, that will make next week’s OPEC+ meeting all the more interesting. A deal has been a big downside risk for oil prices recently, something Saudi Arabia sought to counter with warnings of production cuts from the alliance. When and how they would respond isn’t clear but it would certainly create some uncertainty around the meeting.

A major breakout is potentially on the cards

Gold is really struggling amid growing expectations of another 75 basis point rate hike from the Fed this month. After breaking below $1,730 earlier in the week, it didn’t take long for the yellow metal to test support at $1,700, even breaching it briefly yesterday. A strong jobs report today could tip it over the edge, with key support below then coming around $1,680 where it rebounded in July. It has also bottomed here on a few occasions over the last couple of years which adds to its significance as a major support level.

Treading water ahead of the jobs report

Bitcoin has been treading water around $20,000 over the past week, perhaps with one eye on today’s jobs report. This is clearly a major level of support and a significant break of it could see further losses, with $17,500 the next major test being the level it bottomed at in June. Risk appetite in the markets has not been positive recently which has weighed heavily on bitcoin and other risk assets. The jobs report today could compound that if it feeds inflation fears and raises the odds of another 75 basis point Fed hike this month.

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

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Commodities

Allianz Economic Outlook: African Commodity Exporters in a Better Position

In 2023, the energy crisis and rising interest rates will drag global GDP growth down to just +1.5%, as slow as it was in 2008

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Commodities Exchange

In 2023, the energy crisis and rising interest rates will drag global GDP growth down to just +1.5%, as slow as it was in 2008. It’s the latest forecasts provided by Allianz Trade, which operates through the Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty license in South Africa. 

Since June, global macroeconomic conditions have considerably worsened. Deep and long-lasting ruptures in energy markets and the negative impact on business confidence will push the manufacturing sector in most countries into recession. At the same time, rapidly rising interest rates and falling real disposable incomes will induce a housing recession in the US.

After contracting by -0.6% in the second quarter of 2022, global growth will return to negative territory in Q4 (-0.1% q/q) and is not likely to recover before mid-2023. Overall, we have cut our 2023 forecast to +1.5% (-1.0pp compared to our Q2 forecasts).

Africa: Commodity exporters in a better position

Commodity exporting countries have a more positive outlook, helped by better terms of trade prospects.  GDP forecast for 2023 is as follows: Africa (2.7% from 3.2% in 2022), South Africa (1.5% from 1.8%), Nigeria (unchanged at 2.3%), Ghana (unchanged at 2.5%), and Kenya (4.4% from 4.9%). However, domestic issues are limiting. In South Africa, energy rationing, and logistical bottlenecks – aggravated by flood damage to the port of Durban in April hamper growth while in Nigeria, the oil sector continues to struggle.

Eurozone and US forecast

Eurozone growth is likely to plunge to -0.8% in 2023 due to soaring energy prices and negative confidence effects. Consumer sentiment has already plunged to record lows and business confidence continues to deteriorate rapidly, which will hold back consumption and investment. Increased fiscal support to the tune of 2.5% of GDP on average and limited monetary easing after mid-2023 will help make the recession shorter and shallower, and limit the risks of social unrest.

The US will register a -0.7% fall in GDP, mainly due to rapidly tightening monetary and financial conditions, which will significantly cool the housing market, coupled with a negative external environment and low fiscal support after the mid-term elections.

China’s economic recovery will be difficult 

After a very low level of growth in 2022, China’s economic recovery will be difficult. We have significantly cut our growth forecasts to +2.9% in 2022 (from +4.1%) and +4.5% in 2023 (from +5.2%) based on four factors: the short-lived post-omicron reopening boost, the likely continuation of the zero-Covid policy until Q2 2023, which is weighing on business and household confidence, risks in the property sector and extreme weather currently pressuring energy supply. In addition, lower external demand will limit export growth, which had been a tailwind throughout 2020-2021.

Global inflation outlook

Inflation will remain high until Q1 2023 after energy prices have peaked, with food and services adding upside pressure. We expect global inflation to average 5.3% in 2023 (after close to 8% in 2022). Eurozone inflation should peak at 10% in Q4 2022 and then average 5.6% in 2023. In the US, inflation is likely to have peaked already but should remain above 4% until Q1 2023, falling below 2% only after Q3 2023 (averaging 2.9% in 2023).

Inflation outlook in Africa

Inflation is set to continue increasing driven by costlier food and fuel prices with Africa forecast to finish 2022 averaging 14.7% and then 9.6% in 2023, Nigeria (18% and 15%), South Africa (6.8% and 5%), Ghana (31.3% and 20.3%) and Kenya (6.5% and 5.5%). Heightened food security risks in North Africa and many parts of sub-Saharan Africa where the role of agriculture and the tendency to rely on imported food products makes the countries particularly vulnerable to the agricultural shock caused by the geopolitical conflict.

Global trade

Global trade growth in volume will also remain low at +1.2% in 2023 as advanced economies face a domestic demand-led recession. The return of credit risk is to be expected as this recession will be triaging the good, the bad and the ugly of corporate vulnerabilities. The rebound in business insolvencies gained momentum during 2022 (+18% q/q in Q2 2022, from +5% in Q1). The largest acceleration happened in Western Europe (+26% y/y YTD). Though we are still witnessing historically low numbers of bankruptcies in the US (-19% YTD as of Q2), China (-14% as of August) and Germany (-4% as of June), Spain, the UK and Switzerland already show pre-pandemic insolvency numbers. The trifecta of lower demand, prolonged production constraints (input prices, labor shortages and supply-chain matters) and increasing financing issues (access and costs) is mechanically pushing up expectations in business insolvencies, notably for European countries and sectors most exposed to energy issues. The -0.8% decline in Eurozone GDP has the potential to accelerate the rise in insolvencies by +25pp in 2023 (to more than +40%), with Germany up +16%, France up +29%, Italy up 31% and Spain up 25%. This increases the probability of seeing the extension of and new (targeted) state aid measures.

South Africa

Evidence that South Africa’s economy is faltering has continued to build. June hard activity data came in well below consensus expectations with retail sales as well as manufacturing and mining production dropping back in m/m terms. We expect the economy to have contracted sharply in Q2 as the hit to output from severe flooding was probably not recouped and as load shedding intensified once again. More timely indicators suggest that activity has remained weak in Q3. Scarce energy availability has continued to weigh on energy-intensive sectors; the manufacturing PM declined from 52.2 in June to a one-year low of 47.6 in July. And successive falls in consumer confidence probably dampened retail sales further with elevated inflation taking its toll.  Inflation rose from 7.4% y/y in June to a 13-year-high of 7.8% y/y in July on the back of mounting fuel and food price pressures. Core inflation, at 4.6% y/y, remained close to the midpoint of the 3-6% target band. Uncomfortably high inflation, currency weakness, and Fed tightening will probably keep monetary policymakers in a hawkish mood, even as the economy struggles.

Nigeria

Nigeria’s economy expanded by a better-than-expected 3.5% y/y in Q2, up from 3.1% y/y in Q1. The pick-up in headline growth was largely due to the contraction in the oil sector easing, while growth in the non-oil economy held up well. In seasonally-adjusted terms, GDP rose by around 0.9% q/q. More timely indicators suggest that activity picked up further at the start of Q3. The MI rose from 50.9 in June to 53.2 in July. And private sector credit growth reached 21.3% y/y in July. But production in the key oil sector remained very low, essentially unchanged from June at 1.18mn bpd in July. Meanwhile, the currency weakened against the US dollar, both on the Nafex exchange rate and the black market. Inflation jumped from 18.6% y/y in June to 19.6% y/y in July, the highest since September 2005. The main driver behind the increase in the headline rate was another sharp rise in food inflation, although price pressures rose in other categories too. Elevated inflation is likely to push policymakers to continue raising interest rates.

Kenya

Uncertainty surrounding elections held earlier in August has continued to linger. The official tally showed a tight victory for William Ruto, but runner-up Raila Odinga challenged the results in the courts, reversing some of the gains in Kenya’s sovereign dollar bonds since the start of the month. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court ruled the election was free and fair and William Ruto was sworn in as President on September 13. Defeated Raila Odinga did not attend the inauguration. Shoring up the economy is likely to be a key priority for the new President. The public debt burden stood at 67% of GDP as of June. And the external position is in a poor state too; in May, the trade deficit was the widest since at least 2000 as imports surged by more than exports grew. Activity probably deteriorated further since; the PMI dropped from 46.8 in June to 46.3 in July. Meanwhile, the currency has continued to weaken (-6% vs. USD as of mid-September). This has contributed to the rise in price pressures; headline inflation increased to a five-year high of 8.3% y/y in July, above the central bank’s inflation target range. After keeping interest rates unchanged in July, the central bank is likely to tighten again before long. We have penciled in a +150bps increase in the benchmark rate, to 9.00%, by year-end.

Ghana

Ghana entered talks with the IMF in July, but this has failed to soothe investors ‘concerns about the public finances. Sovereign dollar spreads have continued to widen, and the cedi has fallen further – it is now down by 37% against the dollar year-to-date. Given the large amount of sovereign FX debt, the fall in the cedi will only make the job of putting the debt position on a sustainable footing more difficult. Two credit rating agencies lowered Ghana’s long – term foreign currency rating further into junk territory.  A sovereign default is by no means imminent given that the FX debt repayment schedule is light over the next couple of years. But an IMF deal, including a firm commitment to fiscal consolidation, will need to be secured soon to soothe investors’ concerns. Meanwhile, the weaker cedi will add fuel to inflation, which came in at a stronger-than-expected 31.7% y/y in July – close to a 19-year high. All of this prompted the central bank to call an emergency meeting and hike interest rates by 300bp, to 22%, this month. Against this backdrop, economic activity is suffering. GDP growth slowed to just 3.3% y/y in Q1 and more timely indicators show that both business and consumer confidence have slumped. The risks to our below-consensus forecast for Ghana’s economy to expand by 3.0% this year lie firmly to the downside.

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Crude Oil

Fear of Global Recession Weighs on Crude Oil Prices

Global uncertainty concerning recession continued to dictate the price of crude oil and other global commodities

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Crude oil - Investors King

Global uncertainty concerning recession continued to dictate the price of commodities, especially crude oil which has now declined for a second trading session on Monday.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, slipped by $1, or 1.2%, to $85.15 a barrel at 11:36 a.m Nigerian time on Tuesday. Brent crude dipped as low as $84.51, the lowest since Jan. 14.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude shed 87 cents, or 1.1%, to $77.87 a barrel. WTI dropped as low as $77.21, the lowest since Jan. 6.

Brent and WTI slumped by about 5% on Friday.

The dollar index that measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies climbed to a 20-year high on Monday.

A stronger dollar tends to curtail demand for dollar-denominated oil.

Meanwhile, interest rate increases imposed by central banks in numerous oil-consuming countries to fight surging inflation has raised fears of an economic slowdown and accompanying slump in oil demand.

“A backdrop of global monetary policy tightening by the key central banks to quell elevated inflation, and a splendid run-up in the greenback towards more than two-decade highs, has raised concerns about an economic slowdown and is acting as a key headwind for crude prices,” said Sugandha Sachdeva at Religare Broking.

Disruptions in the oil market from the Russia-Ukraine war, with European Union sanctions banning Russian crude set to start in December, has lent some support to prices.

Attention is turning to what the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, together known as OPEC+, will do when they meet on Oct. 5, having agreed at their previous meeting to cut output modestly.

However, OPEC+ is producing well below its targeted output, meaning that a further cut may not have much impact on supply.

Data last week showed OPEC+ missed its target by 3.58 million barrels per day in August, a bigger shortfall than in July.

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Energy

$472 Billion Will be Invested in Renewable Energy in 2022; Says Agusta & Co

As the call for zero carbon emission continues to gain momentum, Augusta & Co disclosed that $472 billion will be invested in renewable energy in 2022

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Solar Generator

As the call for zero carbon emission continues to gain momentum, Augusta & Co disclosed that $472 billion will be invested in renewable energy in 2022. 

According to a report published by the research and credit rating firm, this represents an increase of 44% when compared to $322 billion spent on renewable energy in 2017.

The shift from hydrocarbon energy sources has been a major discussion in many bilateral and multilateral meetings. It has also been featured as part of the discussion at the ongoing 77th UN General Assembly Meeting.

Investors King also understands that the 27th Conference of Parties (COP 27) will be held in November 2022 in Egypt at Sharm El Sheikh International Convention Centre where world leaders will discuss how to tackle the global challenges of climate change. 

Besides, the International Energy Agency has also predicted that Renewables are set to account for almost 95% of the increase in global power capacity through 2026.

Meanwhile, in order not to be left out of the pack, the Nigerian Government has developed an Energy Transition Plan with an estimated cost of $410 billion. 

Investors King also reported that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo travelled to the United States in August to discuss Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan with key global players. 

However, Augusto & Co opined that with the inadequate electricity supply from the national grid which has made many Nigerians rely on generators for energy generation, the country might miss its target or find it very hard to achieve. 

According to the World Bank, 47% of Nigerians lack access to grid electricity and those who do have access, face regular power outages. The Nigeria Government will therefore need to invest vigorously in renewable energy so as to meet up with its Energy Transition Plan, (2060).

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