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Asian Stocks Recover from Weak Start to Close Broadly Higher



Asian Stocks Recover from Weak Start to Close Broadly Higher

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks recovered from a weak start to close broadly higher on Tuesday as hopes for Chinese stimulus helped offset fresh worries over the trade war between the U.S. and China.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he thinks there will be ?a great deal? with China on trade but warned of more tariffs if talks next month fail to ease the trade war.

China?s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 25.94 points or 1 percent to 2,568.05 after the securities regulator said it would enhance market liquidity and encourage share buybacks and mergers and acquisitions by listed firms. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 226.51 points or 0.9 percent to 24,585.53.

Japanese shares rose by the most in 2-1/2 months as the yen extended its drop against the dollar and Chinese equities rebounded on fresh attempts by Beijing to stabilize the markets.

The Nikkei 225 Index spiked 307.49 points or 1.5 percent to 21,457.29, marking its biggest single-day gain since mid-August. The broader Topix Index closed 1.4 percent higher at 1,611.46.

Auto companies and banks led the surge, with Honda Motor and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial rising around 2 percent. Machinery maker Yaskawa Electric soared 6.1 percent as Beijing pledged more support for the economy.

Komatsu rallied 6.2 percent after raising its full-year operating profit forecast. Fanuc Corp also advanced 3.4 percent after announcing a special dividend. In the tech sector, Tokyo Electron jumped 6.5 percent and Advantest added 2.2 percent.

In economic news, Japan?s jobless rate fell to 2.3 percent in September from 2.4 percent in August, a government report showed. This was the lowest rate since the early 1990s.

Australian shares rallied to extend gains from the previous session. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index surged up 76.90 points or 1.3 percent to 5,805.10 after jumped 1.1 percent the previous day. The broader All Ordinaries Index advanced 74.10 points or 1.3 percent to 5,887.90.

Firmer copper prices helped lift mining stocks, with heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gaining around 2 percent.

Energy stocks also closed mostly higher even as oil prices dipped for a second day amid signs that Russian oil output will remain high. Beach Energy shares jumped 10.4 percent. In the healthcare sector, infant formula maker Bellamy’s Australia climbed 2.5 percent.

Lender Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp rallied 1.8 percent ahead of its full-year results due Wednesday. Commonwealth and Westpac surged up over 2 percent.

On the other hand, gold miner Evolution Mining lost 2.9 percent and Newcrest dropped 1.5 percent as the precious metal edged lower on dollar strength.

Wealth manager AMP fell 2.1 percent on news that its banking arm will reduce or remove 20 fees to simplify its product offering to customers.

On the data front, Australia’s building approvals rose by seasonally adjusted 3.3 percent in September, slower than the 3.8 percent rise economists had expected, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed. The increase largely reflects a 9.2 percent rise in private dwellings excluding houses.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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



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




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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Crude Mixed as Market Remains Unsettled by Omicron Jitters



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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