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Pound Volatility Gauge Climbs as Traders Brace for BOE Rate Cut

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Sterling has crumbled to a three-decade low against the dollar after the Brexit vote

A measure of overnight potential price swings for the pound against the dollar approached the highest closing level since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June as traders braced for the Bank of England’s policy decision Thursday, which most economists forecast will bring the first interest-rate cut in seven years.

Sterling fell versus all but one of its 16 major peers as swaps pricing showed a 100 percent chance of a rate cut. While all except two of 52 analysts in a Bloomberg survey forecast a reduction, there are a suite of other measures, including an expansion of its bond-purchase program, which the BOE may adopt to tackle a Brexit-induced fallout which are more difficult to predict.

Some economists said they would not rule out the possibility that the BOE will keep its powder dry at this meeting, as it did in July, while awaiting a clearer economic picture.

“There is quite a lot of speculation regarding what the BOE might do today, so the short-term volatility is to be expected,” said Mark Dowding, a London-based partner and money manager at BlueBay Asset Management LLP. “We doubt the BOE would be opposed to the idea of the pound falling further as it would support the growth outlook, which is deteriorating markedly. We see the pound falling to $1.20 or lower by the end of the year.”

Sterling fell 0.3 percent to $1.3287 as of 7:41 a.m. in London. It dropped to a 31-year low of $1.2798 on July 6. The U.K. currency weakened 0.2 percent to 83.85 pence per euro.

Volatility Climbs

Overnight implied volatility for the pound versus the dollar, a measure of anticipated price swings based on options, was at 31 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It touched the highest level on record on June 23, the day of Britain’s EU referendum, and spiked again before the BOE’s July meeting, its first since the historic vote.

The pound has been the biggest loser versus the dollar among major currencies since Britain voted to leave the world’s biggest trading bloc. The Bloomberg Pound Index, which measures the currency against its major peers, has fallen almost 11 percent since the referendum.

Recent economic data suggested Britain’s decision to leave the EU is taking its toll on business confidence and that’s further supported by a report Wednesday that confirmed U.K. services shrank last month at the fastest pace in seven years. Swaps pricing showed a 100 percent chance of a rate cut by the BOE Thursday, compared with about 15 percent before the vote.

“I expect a 25 basis-point rate cut and 100 billion pounds” in QE, said Richard Benson, managing director and co-head of portfolio investment at Millennium Global Investments in London. “However, it is very popular to be fading the BOE and buy the pound. I do not think it’s the correct trade. The post-Brexit depreciation of around 10 percent seems too little to me.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Forex

Naira to a Dollar Exchange Rate Dips to N462 at Black Market Amid Social Unrest

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Youth Protests Weigh on Naira to a Dollar Exchange Rate on Black Market

The ongoing youth protest in Nigeria continues to weigh on the economic outlook and investors’ sentiment across the board.

The Nigerian Naira to a US dollar exchange rate declined by N1 from N461 on Tuesday to N462 on Wednesday and in the early hours of Thursday at the black market.

Against the British Pounds, the Naira exchanged at N600, down from the N592 it traded on Tuesday. This decline continues against Europe’s common currency as the Naira dipped against the Euro by N2 from N538 to N540 on the black market.

The nationwide protest by the Nigerian youth to curb police brutality and harassment on daily basis continues to disrupt business activities in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigerian youths are saying enough is enough after the death of several youths by the law enforcement agency, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), that was constituted to curb robbery but gone rogue and made extortions, harassments and in some cases killing of innocent citizens their means of livelihood.

Despite the government disbanding the unit and promise to redeploy officers to other existing units, commands and formations, the youths are saying they want a total discharge of corrupt officers and the entire reform of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) before they will even consider backing down on the ongoing protest, especially after politicians started sponsoring thugs to attack peaceful protesters in Lagos and Abuja.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange closed flat on Wednesday amid rising uncertainty surrounding the government’s ability to de-escalate the situation given the fact that the youths no longer trust the administration or Nigerian government.

The Naira remained weak against global counterparts and expected to plunge further once the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) release third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report expected by many experts to plunge the nation into its second recession in four years.

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Naira Declines on the Black Market on Tuesday

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Naira Plunges Against Global Counterparts on Tuesday on the Black Market

The Nigerian Naira declined on Tuesday on the black market despite efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to prop up the value of the local currency against global counterparts.

The Naira declined by N4 from N457 per US dollar it traded on Friday to N461 on Tuesday morning. Against the European common currency, the Naira fell by N1 to N538 from N537.

However, the local currency improved by N3 against the British pound from N595 it exchanged on Friday to N592 on Tuesday.

Nigeria’s weak economic outlook continues to weigh on the Naira outlook, especially with the economy projected to enter recession in the third quarter.

Despite efforts to cushion the negative effect of COVID-19 on the nation’s economy, unclear policy path amid weak business sentiment and low foreign revenue generation needed to sustain economic productivity in a majorly import-dependent economy drag on Nigerian Naira value and the entire economic outlook.

 

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Dollar to a Naira Exchange Rate Remains Unchanged on Black Market

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Dollar to a Naira Exchange Rate Flat on Black Market on Monday Morning

The US Dollar to a Naira exchange rate remained flat on the black market on Monday morning as businesses and investors’ sentiment surged with an improved economic outlook.

The Dollar to a Naira exchange rate stood at N457 on the black market on Monday morning while the British Pound rate to a Naira was N595, better than the N597 it exchanged on Wednesday.

The Euro to a Naira rate stood at N537 on Monday, a N3 improvement from N540 it sold on Wednesday.

The Naira remained under pressure despite the recent improvement in value following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to lowered the interest rate by 100 basis points to 11.5 percent.

Economic uncertainties as the nation prepared for a second recession in four years weighed on foreign direct investment and continues to drag on growth, especially after the World Bank predicted that the nation’s growth would contract by as much as 4.1 percent in 2020 and only rebound by 0.3 percent in 2021 due to its overexposed to the global oil market.

However, the multilateral financial institution supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to remove oil subsidy and adjust the nation’s electricity tariff to reflect the actual consumption.

Still, it is uncertain if the recent measures by the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria would be enough to stimulate growth in the real sector of the economy and prop up the Dollar to a Naira exchange rate given the global health crisis.

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