The dollar is set to fall 5 percent in the next few months, the Federal Reserve isn’t raising interest rates anytime soon and U.S. economic data is only going to get worse.
That’s what Morgan Stanley chief global currency strategist Hans Redeker told clients in a note published Thursday, citing in-house indicators showing U.S. domestic demand is set to fade in the coming months. It didn’t take long for markets to prove him prescient. The greenback fell 1.3 percent Friday, capping its worst week since April, after the Commerce Department said U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product advanced at about half the rate economists had forecast.
“We are quite pessimistic about, first, the outcome of the U.S. economy,” Redeker said in an interview on Bloomberg Television Friday, before the GDP report’s release. “When you look at our internal indicators, which capture domestic demand very well, they are suggesting that the demand strength is going to fade from here.”
The greenback had rallied in recent weeks on mounting speculation the Fed will hike rates in the coming months following better-than-expected data on jobs, retail sales and industrial production. Dollar bulls’ hopes were dampened Wednesday after a lukewarm policy statement from Fed officials that signaled only a gradual pace towards tighter monetary policy. They were dashed after Friday’s GDP print, which showed a 1.2 percent annualized increase in the April-June period, less than the 2.5 percent median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Derivatives traders are now betting there’s only about a 1-in-3 chance of a rate hike this year, down from more than 50 percent at the beginning of the week. July data on payrolls and manufacturing, set for release next week, will give investors a clearer read on the path of Fed policy through the end of the year.
Further dollar strength will be limited as policy divergence between the U.S., Japan and Europe slows, according to Steven Englander, global head of Group-of-10 currency strategy at Citigroup Inc.
“The dollar still benefits when U.S. growth looks OK, but call it a limping divergence trade, not the kind of divergence trade we were talking about last year or the year before,” Englander said Friday on Bloomberg Television.
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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