Global risks and financial markets’ volatility increased after Janet Yellen led FOMC held rates unchanged on Wednesday, citing global uncertainty and inconsistency in the economic figures. The situation was further compounded by the Bank of Japan decision to keep widely speculated policy rate unchanged but increased exchange traded funds by $26 billion a year.
Last week was packed with mixed economic report, the US economy expanded at a 1.2 percent rate in the second quarter of the year, falling below 2.6 percent forecast by economists. While Unemployment claims rose 14,000 to 266,000 in the week ending 22 July, but housing sector remains moderate with a solid consumer confidence.
Overall, the US economic outlook remains mixed, one because the Fed said risks to the US economy had reduced but policy makers need more time to assess Brexit possible impacts on global economics. Two, if the risks to the US economy has subsided while leaving rates unchanged?, although the Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that the Fed will raise borrowing costs gradually, but the financial markets already priced out that possibility this year and interpreted the comments as less hawkish, sending the US dollar down against most of its counterparts on Friday. This week, I will be looking at GBPJPY, AUDUSD, and USDJPY.
The UK economy is enmeshed in a negative perception after the Britons exit the European Union, even though post-Brexit effect is yet to crystallize, investors and businesses are already making adjustments to their investments and holding back on long term plans to avoid being caught up in potential recession. Although, the GDP rose more than expected in the second quarter of the year, the data were collected prior to Brexit. While few data collated ‘post-Brexit’ have shown signs of slowdown in consumer spending that has been supporting the economy since oil glut started.
On the other hand, the yen continued to gain after the Bank of Japan limited stimulus expansion to manage investors’ overzealous activities that could daunt whatever confidence is left of the economy. Technically, the GBPJPY has been on a downward trend since 25 June 2015, but with the yen renewed gain below 135.95 price level, the GBPJPY might have started continuation that will open up 129.86 support level. As long as price remains below 135.95 resistance level, I remain bearish on this pair with 129.86 as target.
The Australian dollar is overpriced and has forced the Reserve Bank of Australia to consider additional rate cuts to pressure costs and boost consumer prices. Currently, traders have priced in 25 basis points cut to 1.5 percent record low against RBA monetary policy meeting on Tuesday.
The Aussie dollar has gained around 528 pips since May 24 to peak at 76.71 cents against the dollar. If the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 1.50 percent. The AUDUSD pair is expected to plunge below ascending channel started in May as shown above. A sustained break of 0.7505 support level should attract enough sell orders to force 0.7379 first target, and 0.7143 second target in the days to come. So I remain bearish on AUDUSD.
Since both the Fed and Bank of Japan failed to impress investors this pair has lost over 363 pips. As long as 104.25 resistance level holds. I am bearish on this pair with 99.16 as the target.
Naira Remains Flat Against US Dollar, Euro
Naira Exchange Rate Remains Flat Against US Dollar and Euro on Black Market
The Naira remained unchanged on Tuesday despite the curfews and social unrest that grounded the nation’s economy.
Naira traded at N463 against the United States dollar on the black market on Tuesday morning, the same rate it exchanged on Thursday.
Against the European common currency, the Nigerian Naira exchanged at N540 to a single Euro.
However, the local currency dipped slightly against the British Pounds as it exchanged at N595 to a British Pound, representing a N3 decline from N592 it traded on Friday.
Social unrest amid weak economic fundamentals continued to weigh on Nigeria’s local currency, especially with Foreign Direct Investment expected to drop in the final quarter of the year through the first quarter of 2021.
This coupled with weak foreign reserves and a drop in global demand for crude oil is expected to compound Nigeria’s economic woes.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said Nigeria’s commercial capital needs at least N1 trillion to fix the destruction and vandalisation that trailed the #EndSARS protest in the state. An amount equivalent to the state’s annual budget.
Experts, who spoke on the situation, said it would hurt the nation’s output and may plunge fourth-quarter GDP by as much as 6.9 percent. These rising uncertainties amid the second wave of COVID-19 and possible lockdown in key trading partners could further plunge Naira value against global counterparts in the fourth quarter of the year.
Transparent Exchange Rate Can Boost Nigeria’s Forex Inflow
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.
Naira to Dollar Rate Today: Naira Exchanges at N463 to Dollar on Black Market
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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