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Australia Retail Sales Grow Less Than Expected in January

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  • Australia Retail Sales Grow Less Than Expected in January

The weak wage growth in Australia continued to hurt consumer spending and the entire retail sector despite healthy labour market.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), retail sales rose 0.1 percent in January, better than the 0.5 slump recorded in December but well below the 0.4 percent forecast by most experts.

Core retail sales excluding food items increased by 0.1 percent following a 1.4 percent decrease in December.

Even though, the Reserve Bank of Australia said the sector is growing at a moderate pace despite strong competition between retailers, it is unlikely retail sales will pick up soon because of the weak wage growth and rising household debt.

Also, the inflation rate is likely to remain below the central bank’s target for a long time as price competition between retailers is expected to further weigh on headline inflation and hurt business profits like the second half of 2017.

Therefore, the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to leave its interest rate unchanged at 1.50 percent later today.

The Australian dollar gained against the Japanese Yen ahead of rate decision. However, we remained bearish on AUDJPY as projected in the forex weekly outlook.

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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.

Forex

Transparent Exchange Rate Can Boost Nigeria’s Forex Inflow

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Global debt

Transparent Exchange Rate Can Improve Nigeria’s Diaspora Forex Inflow

Experts that gathered at a virtual summit organised by Ecobank Nigeria with a theme, ‘Financial Services & Remittance Solutions for Nigerians in Diaspora: Leveraging Ecobank’s Pan-African offering’, have said Nigeria can boost foreign exchange inflow through proper engagement and a transparent exchange rate.

Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, in his opening speech, said growing evidence has shown that diaspora remittances were positively impacting economies of various nations in the world.

Akinwuntan put the total annual remittances to Nigeria at around $20 billion per year, saying it boosts the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.

Speaking on how these remittances can be sustained, he said constant engagement with Nigerians abroad is imperative and it is the reason Ecobank is leveraging its digital technology through Rapidtransfer App and Ecobank mobile App to ensure affordable and easy transfer of funds by Nigerians abroad to their home country.

“Our dedicated Rapidtransfer, mobile remittance app is a game-changer for the market. It enables Africans and indeed Nigerians wherever they are to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and cash collection in – and across – 33 African countries.

“Historically, the cost of sending cross-border remittances to Africa has been far too high at about 6%-7%. Similarly, the process to send funds has long been inefficient and burdensome, with customers typically needing to go physically to an agent sometimes late in the night or in poor weather with attendant discomfort and risks.

“The Rapidtransfer app remittance solution is a quick, easy and reliable digital solution that removes all of these issues. It is indeed a game-changer for Nigerians and all Africans with its sustainable and standout affordability,” he said.

Speaking on transaction charges, the Ecobank Managing Director said transfer fee range from zero to about 3 percent as compared to 6 – 7 percent charge elsewhere.

He added that the bank’s instant transfer and transparent exchange rate is a unique factor its competitors do not possess.

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Naira to Dollar Rate Today: Naira Exchanges at N463 to Dollar on Black Market

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Naira to Dollar Rate on Black Market Today Stood at N463

The Nigerian Naira to dollar rate slid slightly against the United States dollar on Tuesday on the black market as social unrest continues to weigh on the nation’s economic outlook.

The local currency lost N1 against the US dollar to N463 while against the British pound it remains pressured at N592.

This decline continues against the European Union’s common currency, the Euro. The Naira traded at N540 to a single Euro on the black market.

Naira to dollar rate plunged amid rising economic uncertainties and unclear policy path caused by both COVID-19 and government limited fiscal buffers to cushion the negative impacts of the virus on Africa’s largest economy.

This coupled with the ongoing social unrest by the Nigerian youths to force decorum across the Nigerian Police Force and call global attention to decades of systemic intimidation and harassment of innocent citizens.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange has been closing flat since Thursday and continued this week, suggesting that investors are concerns and wary of eventualities as they look to safeguard their investments.

Again, the projected third-quarter recession, low foreign revenue generation, weak consumer spending and the rising cost of living are some of the factors hurting the Nigerian Naira outlook.

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Naira to a Dollar Exchange Rate Dips to N462 at Black Market Amid Social Unrest

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Youth Protests Weigh on Naira to a Dollar Exchange Rate on Black Market

The ongoing youth protest in Nigeria continues to weigh on the economic outlook and investors’ sentiment across the board.

The Nigerian Naira to a US dollar exchange rate declined by N1 from N461 on Tuesday to N462 on Wednesday and in the early hours of Thursday at the black market.

Against the British Pounds, the Naira exchanged at N600, down from the N592 it traded on Tuesday. This decline continues against Europe’s common currency as the Naira dipped against the Euro by N2 from N538 to N540 on the black market.

The nationwide protest by the Nigerian youth to curb police brutality and harassment on daily basis continues to disrupt business activities in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigerian youths are saying enough is enough after the death of several youths by the law enforcement agency, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), that was constituted to curb robbery but gone rogue and made extortions, harassments and in some cases killing of innocent citizens their means of livelihood.

Despite the government disbanding the unit and promise to redeploy officers to other existing units, commands and formations, the youths are saying they want a total discharge of corrupt officers and the entire reform of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) before they will even consider backing down on the ongoing protest, especially after politicians started sponsoring thugs to attack peaceful protesters in Lagos and Abuja.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange closed flat on Wednesday amid rising uncertainty surrounding the government’s ability to de-escalate the situation given the fact that the youths no longer trust the administration or Nigerian government.

The Naira remained weak against global counterparts and expected to plunge further once the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) release third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report expected by many experts to plunge the nation into its second recession in four years.

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