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Dollar Boosted by Hawkish Fed Comments as Oil Drops With Gold

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Dollar Naira

The dollar strengthened versus all of its major peers as hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official boosted the likelihood of a U.S. interest-rate increase this year. The yen’s retreat was spurred by prospects for further monetary easing in Japan, while oil dropped with gold.

Dollar index rose to a one-week high after Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Sunday the U.S. economy is already close to meeting the central bank’s goals and that growth will pick up. The yen fell for a second day and Japanese stocks advanced after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda flagged the possibility that the authority’s unprecedented monetary stimulus will be added to in September. Elsewhere in Asia, most shares declined as oil fell to about $48 a barrel. Silver led losses among precious metals.

Global markets have been buffeted by comments from Fed officials flagging the possibility of higher borrowing costs as early as next month, even though minutes of the central bank’s last meeting struck a more dovish tone. The focus will shift to Janet Yellen’s speech this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where top global central bankers will gather for a meeting. Futures traders on Friday assigned a 22 percent probability to a September rate increase by the Fed, up from 16 percent a week earlier.

“Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday will have the biggest impact on short-term market moves, especially if she follows in Stanley Fischer’s relatively hawkish tone,” said Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG Ltd. “A week of talking up the U.S. dollar will be good for U.S. financial stocks that would benefit from a rate rise and some of that positivity could spread over into financials globally.”

Currencies

Dollar Spot Index rose 0.4 percent as of 11:16 a.m. Tokyo time, after losing ground in each of the last two weeks. South Korea’s won fell 0.8 percent versus the greenback and New Zealand’s dollar lost 0.7 percent, the biggest declines among 16 major currencies.

“We expect the dollar to consolidate this week with a modest upside bias,” said Elias Haddad, a senior currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. “There is room for U.S. interest-rate expectations to adjust a bit higher this week.”

The yen dropped 0.5 percent to 100.73 per dollar. Kuroda told the Sankei newspaper that the BOJ is conducting a comprehensive review of Japan’s economy and finances and said there is “sufficient chance” of more easing at next month’s policy meeting. Softer July inflation data this Friday may raise odds for more aggressive BOJ easing, Haddad said.

Forwards on India’s rupee were little changed after India named Urjit Patel to take over from Raghuram Rajan as central bank governor from Sept. 4.

Stocks

Japan’s Topix index added 0.5 percent as the yen’s decline boosted exporters including Toyota Motor Corp., which was headed for its highest close since March.

About three stocks fell for every two that rose on the MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index, with raw-materials producers leading losses among 10 industry groups. South Korea’s Kospi index slipped from a 13-month high as foreign investors pulled funds from the securities for the first time in a week, while Taiwan’s benchmark was set for its lowest close in a month. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 percent, after retreating from a nine-month high on Friday.

Futures for the S&P 500 Index fell 0.1 percent after the gauge ended last week within 0.3 percent of an all-time high. Pfizer Inc. is close to an agreement to buy Medivation Inc. for about $14 billion and a deal may be announced as early as Monday, according to people familiar with the situation.

Commodities

Crude oil declined 1.1 percent to $48.01 a barrel in New York after Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest producer, said it will boost exports by about 5 percent amid a glut of supply. The price jumped 9.1 percent last week on speculation that OPEC talks next month could lead to an output freeze. U.S. drillers added rigs for an eighth week, the longest run since April 2014, Baker Hughes Inc. data show.

Silver dropped as much as 3 percent to a seven-week low, while gold was down 0.6 percent amid the dollar’s advance. Silver has rallied 37 percent this year while gold jumped 26 percent as the Fed refrained from tightening and other central banks embraced negative rates, benefiting bullion which doesn’t pay interest.

Bonds

U.S. Treasuries due in a decade fell, pushing their yield up by one basis point to 1.59 percent. The yield could climb toward 1.70 percent if Yellen’s remarks are along the lines of those made by Fischer when she delivers her address on Friday, according to Su-Lin Ong, a senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada in Sydney.

“The market is clearly susceptible to Yellen making similar comments in Jackson Hole,” Ong said. “The most recent lot of Fed speakers — and these are key speakers — have signaled that the market should be putting a greater weight on the risk of a move before year-end.”

Australia’s 10-year bond yield increased by five basis points to 1.91 percent and Japan’s rose by one basis point to minus 0.08 percent.

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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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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