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Asian Equities Finish Mute Despite Reprieve for Huawei

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Asian Equities Finish Mute Despite Reprieve for Huawei

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended Wednesday’s session on a muted note despite the U.S. temporarily lifting a ban on American businesses working with Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Markets kept an eye on the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting due out later in the day as a protracted trade war threatens to depress global economic growth.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has lowered the 2019 global growth outlook as escalating trade disputes hurt manufacturing and investment decisions.

In its latest Economic Outlook, the Paris-based think tank forecast 3.2 percent growth for 2019 versus 3.3 percent estimated in March.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index ended down 14.26 points or 0.5 percent at 2,891.70 as trade tensions continued to linger. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 48.70 points or 0.2 percent to 27,705.94.

In a speech in Jiangxi, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the people to “start again” and begin a modern “long march,” in a dramatic sign that Beijing is preparing for a protracted trade war with the U.S.

Japanese shares ended largely unchanged after the New York Times reported that the Trump administration is considering placing limits on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision’s ability to buy U.S. technology.

Investors also reacted to mixed economic data and comments by Bank of Japan board member Yutaka Harada that monetary easing should be strengthened further without delay.

Japanese exports fell for a fifth straight month in April, in a sign of weakness in external demand. On the positive side, the country’s core private-sector machinery orders rose for the second straight month.

The Nikkei 225 Index crept up 10.92 points or 0.1 percent to 21,283.37, while the broader Topix closed 0.3 percent lower at 1,546.21.

Exporters such as Canon, Sony and Panasonic closed lower despite a weaker yen. Index heavyweights Softbank and Fanuc slid around half a percent, while Fast Retailing rose 1 percent.

Australian shares inched higher even as overall gains remained limited amid fears that a protracted trade war between the United States and China could harm demand for Australian products.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 10.60 points or 0.2 percent to 6,510.70, while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 13.70 points or 0.2 percent at 6,598.10.

Banks ended flat to slightly lower after the country’s financial regulator said it may impose additional capital requirements on some financial institutions. Westpac Banking Corp shares climbed 1.1 percent.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto eked out modest gains amid record higher iron ore prices. Smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group slumped over 8 percent on going ex-dividend.

Gold miner Evolution Mining dropped 2.4 percent and Northern Star declined 1.9 percent as gold prices held near a two-week low.

Construction materials supplier James Hardie rallied 2.2 percent as Australia’s prudential regulator eased lending criteria for home loans.

Seoul stocks recovered from an early slide to end modestly higher for the day. The Kospi rose 3.61 points or 0.2 percent to 2,064.86.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Investors Gain N1.09bn as NASD Share Price Rises 9.1%

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NASD Exchange

By Adedapo Adesanya

The unlisted securities market closed the last trading session of the week on a positive note after it appreciated by 0.18 per cent on the back of growth in the share price of NASD Plc.

Business Post reports that the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the bulls’ territory on Friday after it closed flat on Thursday.

NASD Plc was the major driver of the return of the bourse to the green region as its value went up during the session by N2.45 or 9.1 per cent to close at N26.99 per unit in contrast to N24.54 per unit it closed at the previous session.

As a result of this, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.32 points to 745.44 points from 744.12 points, while the market capitalisation gained N1.09 billion to wrap the day at N615.86 billion in contrast to the previous day’s N614.77 billion.

On the activity chart, there was an improvement as the trading volume surged by 34,985.6 per cent because of the 2.3 million units of shares exchanged by market participants compared with the 6,688 units transacted at the previous session.

In the same vein, the trading value rose by 17,680.6 per cent to N63.4 million from the previous day’s N356,563.60, while the number of deals witnessed a 100 per cent rise as investors carried out 12 deals compared to the six deals executed at the previous session.

At the close of trades, Food Concepts Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Service Plc followed with 1.1 billion units valued at N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc was in third place with 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.

Food Concepts Plc was also the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, trailed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.4 million units valued at N9.2 billion, VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.

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Economy

Naira Trades N414.73/$1 as Cryptos Bleed Heavily

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Cryptos

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market by 0.02 per cent or 7 kobo on Friday, December 4.

Data showed that the local currency was sold for N414.73/$1 at the investors’ window yesterday compared with the N414.80/$1 it traded on Thursday.

At the final trading session of the week, the turnover was $103.01 million as against $139.67 million achieved at the preceding session, indicating a $36.66 million or 26.62 per cent decline.

Also, the exchange rate of the Naira to the United States currency recorded a movement on Friday, though downward as the Nigerian currency depreciated by 4 kobo as it closed at N411.74/$1 versus the preceding day’s N411.70/$1.

The local currency, however, appreciated by N2.17 against the British Pound Sterling to settle at N546.26/£1 compared to N548.43/£1 it traded at the previous trading session and 57 kobo against the Euro to trade at N465.68/€1 compared to the preceding day’s N466.25/€1.

At the cryptocurrency market, investors counted a heavy loss as the new variant of the coronavirus called Omicron and hawkish comments by the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates have raised serious concerns, causing cryptos to bleed heavily.

The heaviest loss was suffered by Dash (DASH), which plunged by 35.3 per cent to sell for N66,595.85. Ripple (XRP) depreciated 30.6 per cent to trade at N381.85, while Litecoin (LTC) sold for N66,595.85 after declining by 24.1 per cent.

Dogecoin (DOGE) went down by 22.7 per cent to sell at N90.29, Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 20.8 per cent to N652.82, Bitcoin (BTC) depleted by 16.9 per cent to quote at N26,800,504.20, Ethereum (ETH) equally saw a 16.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N2,100,100.39, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 12.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N218,577.24, Tron (TRX) went down by 12.7 per cent to trade at N48.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) recorded a 0.1 per cent marginal loss to sell for N554.76.

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Economy

Crude Mixed as Market Remains Unsettled by Omicron Jitters

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Crude Oil Prices

By Adedapo Adesanya

Crude prices closed mixed on Friday, December 3 after erasing earlier big gains on growing worries that rising coronavirus cases and a new variant could reduce global oil demand.

Brent crude gained 21 cents or 0.3 per cent to trade at $69.88 per barrel while on the other hand, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 24 cents or 0.36 per cent to sell at $66.26 per barrel.

Both benchmarks declined for a sixth week in a row for the first time since November 2018.

Oil prices had witnessed one of the most troubled weeks as the market reeled from the fear brought about by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus with speculations that it could spark new lockdowns and dent fuel demand.

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to vaccinate their people to fight the virus, saying travel curbs were not the answer.

Even with this, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) surprised the market on Thursday when it stuck to its plans to add 400,000 barrels per day supply in January.

However, it said it will continue to monitor the market and this could make it change course if demand suffered from measures to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The alliance said they could meet again before their next scheduled meeting on January 4.

Analysts noted that with the coronavirus cases rising, the US jobs report for November also didn’t help demand outlook even as the unemployment rate plunged to a 21-month low of 4.2 per cent, suggesting the country’s labour market was rapidly tightening.

US employment growth slowed considerably in November amid job losses at retailers and in local government education.

Meanwhile, in Vienna, diplomats attempting to restore the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers face substantial challenges that need urgent solutions, the top European envoy said Friday. Talks are set to resume next week.

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