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Market Performance Remains Negative on Profit Taking



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  • Market Performance Remains Negative on Profit Taking

The performance of the stock market remained negative thursday as profit taking persisted. However, the decline was marginal as sentiments were mixed. Although price gainers outnumbered price losers, losses suffered by bellwether stocks made the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) to remain in the negative territory. The NSE ASI shed 0.05 per cent to close lower at 25,514.03.

Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc led the price losers with 9.7 per cent trailed by Guinness Nigeria Plc, which went down by 4.2 per cent. African Prudential Registrars Plc and Access Bank Plc declined by 3.7 per cent and 3.5 per cent per cent in that order. NASCON Allied Industries Plc closed 2.9 per cent lower just as Diamond Bank Plc shed 2.1 per cent.

Forte Oil Plc and FCMB Group Plc dipped by 1.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively, while Zenith Bank Plc went down by 1.4 per cent.

Zenith Bank is losing value a day after the shareholders approved its final dividend of N55.573 billion final dividend for the year ended December 31, 2016.

On the positive side, Lafarge Africa Plc maintained the number spot on the gainers’ chart, rising by 8.4 per cent to close at N41.00 per share. The stock had similarly led the price gainers the previous day as investors reacted to the 105 kobo dividend the cement manufacturing firm recommended for 2016 year.

Although the dividend is lower than the 300 kobo paid the previous year, market operators said they least expected any dividend from Lafarge Africa Plc given its nine months results that showed N40 billion loss.

Lafarge Africa Plc reported a profit after tax of N16.8 billion as a result of tax credit of N39.71 billion. The profit was 38 per cent lower than the N27 billion profit recorded in 2015.

But for the tax credit, which came mainly from deferred tax assets generated from Unicem operations, the company would have ended 2016 with a loss before tax of N22.8 billion.

The Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa, Mr. Michel Puchercos, had said the immediate objective of the company is to deliver fully on “our turnaround plan by optimising our processes, developing our alternative fuel strategy, reducing operational costs to deliver strong EBITDA margins returning to historic levels.”

Apart from Lafarge, Learn Africa Plc also appreciated yesterday, chalking up 4.6 per cent. Livestock Feeds Plc garnered 4.6 per cent, while Sterling Bank Plc and Fidson Healthcare Plc appreciated by 4.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya


Barclays Tell High Net Worth Investors to Shun Africa and Other Emerging Economies



Barclays Bank

Barclays to High Net Worth Clients, Stay Off Africa and Other Emerging Economies

Barclays, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has started advising high net worth clients to stay off Africa and other emerging economies.

According to Barclays, despite the recent recovery noticed in emerging-market stocks, investors are better off avoiding the risks that still abound in emerging nations. Barclays Plc, however, advised high net worth clients to focus on U.S equities despite the S&P’s breakneck rally.

The investment bank said emerging economies do not have enough fiscal buffers to spend their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely continue to struggle in the near-time compared to the US with 12 percent of gross domestic product fiscal-support.

It said the huge US stimulus may halt rebound in emerging-markets stocks as more money is expected to flow into the world’s largest economy and its European counterparts.

“Compared to the U.S., emerging-market economies appear more vulnerable,” said Haider, the London-based managing director and head of global growth markets. “Their central banks have less room to maneuver, their governments may not be able to provide unlimited support and equity markets, given their sector mix, can be more challenged by an economic slowdown.”

Barclays added that even after 33 percent rebound in stocks of emerging markets since the panic selloff subsided in March, stocks are still down by 9 percent from year-to-date while the US S&P 500 stocks are up by 45 percent. Presently, their stocks trading at a 36 percent discount to US stocks, up from 25 percent three months ago.

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Crude Oil Rises to $43.1 Per Barrel on Production Cuts Extension



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  • Crude Oil Hits $43.1 Per Barrel Following OPEC’s Production Cuts Extension

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, rose by 1.25 percent on Monday during the Asian trading session following OPEC and allies’ agreement to extend crude oil cuts to the end of July.

OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to extend production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day reached in April to July on Saturday.

In the virtual conference, delegates agreed that members, including Nigeria and Iraq presently struggling to attain a 100 percent compliance level must keep to the agreement or be forced to do so in subsequent months.

Nigeria, Iraq and others failed to keep to the cartel’s agreement in May after reports show that Nigeria only managed to attain a 19 percent compliance level during the month while Iraq struggled to attain just 38 percent in the same month.

Russia and Saudi Arabia, the two largest producers of the group, warned members to stick to the agreed quota if they want to rebalance the global oil market.

While the errant producers such as Iraq and Nigeria have vowed to reach 100% conformity and compensate for prior underperformance, we still think they will likely continue to have some commitment issues over the course of the summer,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

The potential return of Libyan output could also cause considerable challenges for the OPEC leadership.

Earlier on Monday, Brent crude oil hits $43.1 per barrel, more than a month record-high, before pulling back slightly to $42.83 per barrel.

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Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report



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  • Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report

Gold prices declined by 2 percent on Friday following a better than expected US non-farm payroll report.

The report showed an increase of 2.5 million payroll numbers against a decline of 7.5 million predicted by many experts.

The surprise number boosted investors’ confidence in US recovery as many dumped their haven investment (gold) for the stock market.

“We had significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers – an increase of 2.5 million versus an expectation of a decline of 7.5 million – that 10-million swing has brought forward expectations of the economic recovery in the United States,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

Spot gold immediately declined by 1.9 percent per ounce to $1,678.81 while the U.S. gold futures slid 2.6 percent to settle at $1,683.

Gold was also being pressured by stronger yields and a slightly firmer dollar, “meaning the opportunity cost to hold gold in the portfolio has gone up,” Melek added.

The surprise didn’t stop there, US Dow Jones was up 614 points despite the protest going on the US and US-China tension.

Also, NASDAQ rose by 29 points while the S&P index added 50 points increase.

Note: Investors generally increase their investments in gold and other haven assets during a crisis to avert risk exposure and do the opposite once they sense a better economy.

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