- Forex Weekly Outlook April 3-7
The US economy expanded more than previously estimated in the final quarter of 2016, growing at 2.1 percent annualized rated instead of the previously reported 1.9 percent. However, despite a 3.5 percent expansion rate recorded in the third quarter, the total growth in 2016 remains the worst performance since 2011 — plunging to 1.6 percent following a 2.6 percent growth rate recorded in 2015.
Nevertheless, consumer sentiment rose to 96.9 in March, signaling that Americans are less upbeat about the long-term economic outlook. But consumer spending rose less than predicted in February even with the surge in wage growth. Suggesting that surge in inflation (2.1%) may be affecting consumer spending.
Accordingly, Federal Open Market Committee are expected to raise rates further this year to moderate consumer prices and proposed fiscal stimulus by the new administration. This optimism continued to aid the US dollar’s attractiveness against other pairs and bolstered bond market outlook.
In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered article 50 of Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday and stated that refusal of the European Union to accept the terms of the Brexit will have security implications. Compelling the European Union President Donald Tusk to declare on Friday that defense and security won’t be bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations.
In Canada, the Canadian economy expanded by a healthy 0.6 percent in January from December, indicating first-quarter growth will be stronger than expected as the country gradually recovers from the shock of low oil prices. The Canadian dollar improved against the US dollar to 75.24 U.S. cents
Generally, the US economy remains strong and so is the U.S dollar. However, the uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook remains.
This week NZDUSD and AUDJPY top my list
The NZDUSD pair reversed 814 pips after dropping 2640 pips to 0.6195 in 2015. This reversal has carved out a wedge pattern not only to affirm that the temporary bullish trend is waning but also to ascertain bearish continuation.
Similarly, the aforementioned correlates with our February projection that higher exchange rate would affect New Zealand consumer goods as it would have pushed the cost of goods higher and subsequently reduced consumer spending. However, inspite of this bearish view, this pair has traded moderately high against the Reserve Bank of New Zealand call for lower exchange rates.
But with the renewed US dollar’s attractiveness following policy-makers comments on three more rate hikes in 2017. I am expecting this pair to gain bearish momentum as a continuation of the long-term downward trend. A break below the wedge pattern should expose our first support of 0.6892 and sustained break of that level should give us 0.6716 targets.
Considering Australia’s economic outlook and declining trade surplus that saw trade balance unexpectedly narrowed 61 percent to AUD 1.30 billion January from a downwardly revised AUD 3.33 billion surplus in December, 84.97 exchange rate is high and would hurt consumer spending further if not check. Also, I don’t see the Aussie breaking its 15-month high after dropping below 86.34 support turned resistance.
Technically, this pair has given 435 pips since peaking at 88.16 in February, its 15-month high but after plunging 3041 pips for the past 2 years. I will be treating the new upsurge as a temporary reversal and expect a break below upward trend to open up 82.70 support levels, while a sustained break should expose our target at 80.82 as shown above.
Last week positive economic growth (GDP) data aided the Loonie to recover mildly against the Japanese Yen. However, with the price below 85.86, 20-moving average, I remain bearish on this pair and expect a sustained break of 83.11 to open up 80.27 targets as more sellers jump on it. Hence, I will be looking to sell bellow 83.11 support levels.
Likewise, I remain bearish on this pair as long as 78.83 resistance holds and will be looking to add to my position.
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.
Zenith Bank Joins Other Banks to Cap International Spend Limit at $100/Month
Zenith Bank Caps International Spend Limit at $100 Per Month
Following persistent forex scarcity impacting the nation, Zenith Bank has joined other deposit money banks capping international spend limits.
In an e-mail to customers, the lender said “Please be informed that the monthly international spend limit for your Zenith Bank Naira Card has been reviewed to US$100 while the use of Zenith Bank Naira cards for international Automated Teller Machine cash withdrawals is still temporarily suspended.’
It added that this review is in response to change in Nigeria’s macroeconomic factors.
The bank, however, advised those with higher international spend requirements than the US$100 stipulated above to visit any Zenith branch and request a foreign currency debit or prepaid card “which are available in US Dollar, Pounds and Euro variants.”
This is coming a few weeks after UBA, GTBank, First Bank and others capped their international spend limits to $100 for similar reasons. However, Zenith’s decision was after the Central Bank of Nigeria commenced forex sale to the Bureau De Change Operators across the country.
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