The fallout from yesterday’s Federal Reserve statement continued to reverberate through global markets, with the dollar extending declines, emerging-nation currencies getting a boost and gold gaining on optimism the central bank will take a cautious approach to raising interest rates.
The dollar extended losses, weakening against all but two of its 16 major peers, as bets on a rate increase in 2016 remained below 50 percent. South Korea’s won climbed to the highest since October and gold rose for a third day. Ford Motor Co. led shares of carmakers lower after warning that a stalling U.S. market was putting profit targets at risk, while Facebook Inc. rallied after reporting a 59 percent jump in sales. Banks led declines in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index after Lloyds Banking Group Plc warned Britain’s vote to leave the European Union may hurt earnings and dividends.
Positive corporate earnings and signs central banks will step in to support economic growth have helped lift global equities to their biggest monthly gain since March. While admitting risks to the U.S. economy had subsided, the Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday as policy makers assessed the fallout from Brexit.
“The Fed comments were less hawkish than expected,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Swiss Luzerner Kantonalbank AG. “There will be a hike this year, but later than in September. The stock market still has some room to go for the next few weeks.”
Chair Janet Yellen has repeatedly stated that the Fed is likely to raise borrowing costs gradually, though market volatility and an unexpected dip in job gains have delayed such plans. In Japan, traders are looking ahead to Friday’s monetary policy review, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a fiscal-stimulus package exceeding 28 trillion yen ($267 billion) on Wednesday in a bid to jump-start the economy.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the greenback against 10 major peers, lost 0.3 percent as of 9:50 a.m. in New York. Against the euro, the U.S. currency was headed for its biggest two-day slide since June 23, the day of the U.K. referendum on its membership of the European Union.
South Korea’s won jumped 0.9 percent and Malaysia’s ringgit gained 0.8 percent.
“We’re seeing broad dollar weakness,” said Yuji Kameoka, the chief foreign exchange strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. in Tokyo. “Even though the Fed did note some improvements in the economy, a rate hike in September still isn’t certain.”
The yen climbed 0.5 percent to 104.92 per dollar after dropping 0.7 percent on Wednesday. A majority of economists polled by Bloomberg predict Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will boost asset purchases on Friday and lower the already negative key rate.
The pound slipped against all of its 16 major counterparts with swaps trading indicating that the Bank of England is certain to cut its key interest rate rate next week. Sterling dropped 0.5 percent to $1.3154.
Naira Remains Pressure at N465/US$ Despite BDCs Expecting $50.9m from CBN
Naira Remains at N465/US$ Despite BDCs Expecting $50.9m Injection from CBN
The Nigerian Naira remained under pressure despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s foreign exchange sales to the bureau de change operators (BDCs).
Since the apex bank resumed forex sales about two weeks ago, the local currency had only improved slightly against global counterparts as investors and businesses doubt the central bank’s ability to sustain forex intervention given the weak foreign reserves and low oil prices.
Two weeks ago, the apex bank injected $51.8 million into the foreign exchange market to ease scarcity and support Naira’s value, however, despite the amount injected, the local currency only moderated slightly from N480 to a US dollar to N443 before depreciating back to N465 following the increase in electricity tariff and complete subsidy removal.
In what appeared like investors have started pricing in a further decline in consumer spending, especially with inflation hovering above 13 percent and expected to rise further with an increase in prices.
Also, Nigeria’s unemployment rate remained high at 27.1 percent, meaning apart from weak revenue generation and definitely low tax revenue, businesses will not be creating enough jobs to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
A situation expected to further weigh on Naira outlook against global counterparts, even with central bank forex sales.
The Naira exchanged at N465 to a US dollar on Tuesday despite Bureau de change operators expecting $50.9 million forex allocation from the central bank today. This means, the market no longer expect a meaningful impact from the apex bank intermittent intervention because of the disparity in the amount being injected and forex backlog estimated at slightly over $5 billion.
CBN Moves Against 55 Companies, Individuals for Forex Infractions
CBN Commences Investigation into FX Activities of 55 Companies, Individuals
In an effort to ease foreign exchange pressure and better manage the dwindling foreign reserves, the Central Bank of Nigeria has intensified fight against companies and individuals taking advantage of the nation’s limited foreign reserves.
The apex bank said it has commenced investigations into the activities of 55 companies and individuals engaging in foreign exchange transactions.
The central bank attributed the reason for the investigation to foreign exchange deals outside the official Investors & Exporters (I&E) forex window.
Some of the companies being investigated are Stallion Nigeria Limited, Interswitch Nigeria Limited, as well as a leading global shipping line, CMA CGM Nigeria Shipping Limited.
Other big names on the list are Petro-Afrique Energy Services Limited, Steel Force Far East Limited, Auto Petroleum Company Limited, Cavendish Mechanicals Limited, Aquashield Oil & Marine Limited, Haitch & Elf Integrated Services Limited, Fenog Nigeria Limited, and Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
The I&E window was established to facilitate foreign exchange transactions and encourage a moderate market-determined exchange rate.
Naira Declines to N465 Against US Dollar on Black Market
Naira Falls to N465 Against US Dollar on Black Market
Nigeria’s economic uncertainties continued to weigh on the Nigerian Naira despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s forex sale resumption.
The local currency declined by N3 from N462 a US dollar to N465 on the black market even with over $58 million injected into the forex market through the bureau de change.
Against the British Pound, Naira depreciated by N5 from N595 to N600 on Friday while it dipped by N3 against the European common currency to N548, down from N545 it traded on Thursday.
A series of weak economic fundamentals and anti-people policy continued to hurt the nation’s economic outlook and investors’ confidence.
In a recent event, the Nigerian government simultaneously raised electricity tariffs, pump prices and foreign exchange rates in an economy that depends on imports for most of its supplies.
Also, with the unemployment rate at over 27 percent, inflation rate over 13 percent and the number of companies shutting downing operation rising on a daily bases, foreign investors and even local investors are now holding back on investments needed to support the nation’s weak foreign reserves and cushion the negative effect of COVID-19.
While the exchange rates have moderated slightly from COVID-19 peak, it remains close to COVID-19 record.
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