Crude Slides Over Fresh Demand Worries Despite Vaccine Progress
By Adedapo Adesanya
Oil prices returned to the bearish territory on Friday, just a day after hitting a nine-month high, as demand worries due to new coronavirus-related restrictions overshadowed progress toward vaccination programmes.
After rising for most of the past few weeks, due to hopes of a vaccine-induced boost in economic growth and energy demand, oil prices returned downward as the long term effects of the virus keep outweighing the near term positives.
As at last night, the price of the Brent crude was down by 25 cents or 0.5 per cent to $49.98 per barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) went down by 18 cents or 0.38 per cent to $46.57 per barrel.
Promising vaccine trials have helped lift some gloom over record increases in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths around the world.
In the US and Europe, high cases are still being recorded even as the United Kingdom began vaccinations this week while the United States could start as early as the coming weekend, while Canada on Wednesday approved its first vaccine with initial shots due from next week.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration has authorised the emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine.
A big jump in US crude stockpiles also served as a reminder that there is still plenty of supply available, but it was overlooked as more bullish news ran through the market.
This means the international benchmark crude gained close to 2 per cent this week while WTI was up less than 1 per cent. That puts both benchmarks for a sixth consecutive week of gains for the first time since June.
The market is also taking decision by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) to restore a small amount of output in January with caution as investors will be comfortable with the supply-demand balance and expect a recovery in consumption next year.
The group is due to ease current production cuts by 500,000 barrels per day from January, but with demand still under pressure from the pandemic. Market analysts believe that the market still has a lot to face in the coming months.
Nigeria’s Unlisted Securities Appreciate by 0.38%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange recorded a 0.38 per cent appreciation on Thursday, June 8, with investors gaining N3.84 billion at the close of transactions.
This was because the market capitalisation of Nigeria’s unlisted securities bourse finished at N1.011 trillion during the session compared with the previous day’s value of N1.007 trillion.
Following the same trend was the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI), which was fortified by 2.78 points to wrap the session at 731.03 points, in contrast to the midweek trading day’s 728.25 points.
The fortification was triggered by 11 Plc, which added N11.94 to its value to close at N131.34 per unit versus Wednesday’s closing price of N119.40 per unit, and FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, which gained 24 Kobo to close at N69.98 per unit versus the N69.74 it finished at the last session.
The duo ensured that the losses posted by two stocks did not overpower the market.
The price of Nipco Plc went down by N2.00 to end at N70.00 per share against N72.00 per share in the previous session while Geo Fluids Plc lost 13 Kobo to end at N2.77 per share versus N2.90 per share.
Yesterday, investors transacted 2.1 million units of shares on NASD, 2,243.3 per cent higher than the 89,903 units of shares traded in the preceding session.
Also, the value of shares traded during the trading day increased by 248.1 per cent to N32.2 million from N9.2 million, as the number of deals grew by 33.3 per cent to 16 deals from 12 deals.
Geo-Fluids Plc closed the market as the most traded equity by volume (year-to-date) with 833.1 million units worth N1.3 billion, IGI Plc occupied second place with 628.3 units valued at N49.5 million, while UBN Property Plc was in third place with 395.9 million units worth N336.6 million.
Similarly, VFD Group Plc closed as the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) with 11.0 million units worth N2.5 billion, Geo-Fluids Plc followed with 833.1 million units valued at N1.3 billion, while FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc was in third place with 17.8 million units worth N1.3 billion.
CBN Devalues Naira by 1.04% to N469.50/$1 at Official Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) seems to have signalled plans to gradually merge the exchange rate regimes in the country into one, as directed by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023.
This is because the exchange rate of the Naira to the US Dollar was adjusted on Thursday in the official market, which is the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange market.
Data obtained by Business Post from the FMDQ Securities Exchange, the official channel to track the government-approved FX market, indicated that the local currency was devalued by 1.04 per cent or N4.83 to N469.50/$1 compared with the preceding session’s N464.67$1.
It was observed customers bid the Naira to the Dollar in the spot market yesterday as low as N460.00/$1 and as high as N476.50/$1, amid a significant decrease in the value of forex transactions recorded during the session.
Data showed that the turnover for the trading day was $74.18 million compared with the previous day’s $140.31 million, representing a shortfall of 47.1 per cent or $66.13 million.
Also, in the black market, the Naira depreciated against the United States currency by N2 on Thursday to trade at N760/$1 compared with the midweek session’s rate of N758/$1.
However, in the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) segment, the domestic currency gained N2 against the greenback to close at N770/$1 versus Wednesday’s value of N772/$1.
In the interbank window, the Naira shed N4.31 against the Pound Sterling to quote at N576.99/£1 versus its previous rate of N572.68/£1 and lost N1.89 against the Euro to settle at N495.79/€1, in contrast to Wednesday’s N493.90/€1.
The cryptocurrency market recovered yesterday as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s crackdown on heavyweight cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Coinbase (COIN) failed to shake the market further as Bitcoin (BTC) added 1.3 per cent to sell at $26,597.62, while Ethereum (ETH) grew by 1.2 per cent to $1,851.27.
Binance Coin (BNB) jumped by 2.2 per cent to $263.72, Solana (SOL) gained 2.1 per cent to sell at $18.98, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 2.0 per cent rise to $0.5266, Dogecoin (DOGE) appreciated by 1.4 per cent to $0.0680, Cardano (ADA) added 0.9 per cent to its value to close at $0.3246, and Litecoin (LTC) rose by 0.5 per cent to $88.80, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) traded flat at $1.00 each.
Crude Oil Prices Dip as Officials Deny US-Iran Nuclear Deal
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude oil prices settled lower on Thursday but rebounded from earlier losses after the US and Iran both denied a report that they were close to a nuclear deal.
Initially, the market fell by more than $3 on the report that the US would give Iran sanctions relief to export oil in return for Tehran reducing uranium enrichment, but later, the loss eased as Brent eventually closed lower by $1.34 or 1.7 per cent to $75.61 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped $1.58 or 2.2 per cent to close at $71.29 per barrel.
A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council called the report “false and misleading”.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations also cast doubt on the report, saying, “Our comment is the same as the White House comment.”
The US and European Union officials have been searching for ways to curb Iran’s nuclear program since the breakdown of indirect US-Iranian talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
Analysts noted that if there’s no Iran deal then the market was back to focusing more on fuel demand.
Demand concerns outweighed the prospect of tighter supply after Saudi Arabia pledged at a weekend meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) to cut crude output by 1 million barrels per day in July.
That unilateral cut was in addition to the group’s broader deal to extend existing supply curbs into 2024.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in a telephone conversation how to ensure stability in the energy market and praised the cooperation within the OPEC+ deal.
This put to rest the earlier tension that followed the Sunday meeting.
Oil prices could get a lift if the US Federal Reserve skips a rate hike at its next meeting on June 13-14.
Support also came as the US Dollar was slightly weaker on Thursday, making oil cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.
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