By Adedapo Adesanya
Bullish sentiment pushed oil prices up on Friday as a combination of supply disruptions and an apparent compromise between the United States and China gave the markets hope.
Brent crude gained $1.34 or 1.88 per cent yesterday as it traded at $72.82 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) moved up by $1.49 or 2.17 per cent to $69.78 per barrel.
The markets jumped after it was revealed that US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on Thursday and “had a broad, strategic discussion in which they discussed areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge,” as the White House said.
The markets hope the call could lead to more trade between the world’s two largest economies, which is expected to boost oil demand.
The continued large outage in the oil production in the US Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Ida was also lending support to oil prices on Friday.
As many as 1.4 million barrels per day or 76.5 per cent of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico continued to be offline, data from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) showed.
The crude inventory draws reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday also pushed oil prices higher on Friday, despite the fact that this week’s inventory report was distorted by Hurricane Ida’s impact on crude and gasoline stocks with production and refining capacity offline due to the storm.
China’s unexpected release of crude from its reserve to alleviate raw material price pressures had depressed oil markets previously.
The State Bureau of Grain and Material Reserves said it would release batches of oil for sale to domestic refining and chemicals companies to “alleviate the pressure of rising raw material prices”.
“Putting national reserve crude oil on the market through open auction sales will better stabilise domestic market supply and demand and effectively guarantee national energy security,” it said.
While other large oil importers like the US have periodically tapped their national reserves during supply disruptions or to meet budgetary needs, it is the first time China has publicly announced its intention to draw on its stocks.
Analysts started to look at what the release could mean for future Chinese oil purchases with some thinking it could signify a rise in Chinese demand in the coming months.
Brent was on track to end the week with a small gain and has rallied almost 40 per cent this year, driven by supply cuts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some demand recovery from the pandemic.
Nigerian Exchange Rises 0.23% as Investors Mop up Bank Stocks
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited extended its gains on Friday with a 0.23 per cent growth on the back of a sustained interest in bank stocks.
Business Post observed that investors mopped up equities of tier-one lenders yesterday and this buying pressure further lifted the All-Share Index (ASI) of the exchange by 88.15 points to 38,962.28 points from the previous day’s 38,874.13 and pushed the market capitalisation higher by N46 billion to N20.300 trillion from N20.254 trillion.
The market breadth was positive during the session as there were 25 price gainers and 11 price losers, indicating a positive investor sentiment.
Pharma Deko topped the gainers’ chart after its equity price went up by 9.74 per cent to N2.14. Sovereign Trust Insurance grew by 8.70 per cent to 25 kobo, Okomu Oil rose by 5.77 per cent to N110.00, Eterna appreciated by 4.95 per cent to N7.00, while Champion Breweries moved up by 4.71 per cent to N2.00.
On the reverse side, SCOA Nigeria topped the log with a price decline of 9.38 per cent to settle at 87 kobo. Presco went down by 8.18 per cent to N73.00, Regency Alliance fell by 6.38 per cent to 44 kobo, Total Energies depreciated by 3.61 per cent to N192.00, while Sterling Bank depleted by 1.34 per cent to N1.47.
A look at the performance of the five key sectors of the market showed that the banking space closed 1.86 per cent higher, the insurance sector rose by 0.27 per cent, the consumer goods counter appreciated by 0.06 per cent, while the energy index grew by 0.04 per cent, with the industrial goods sector closing flat.
The most traded stock on Friday was FBN Holdings as investors exchanged 481.5 million units valued at N3.6 billion.
Ecobank traded 16.6 million units worth N87.8 million, Zenith Bank transacted 12.0 million units valued at N279.0 million, Access Bank exchanged 11.6 million units worth N100.9 million, while Transcorp sold 9.4 million units for N8.7 million.
At the close of business, a total of 633.5 million shares worth N6.5 billion were traded in 3,228 deals as against the 125.8 million shares worth N1.3 billion transacted in 2,990 deals on Thursday, indicating a 403.61 per cent rise in the trading volume, a 409.36 per cent growth in the trading value and a 7.96 per cent jump in the number of deals.
FX Demand Pressure Crashes Naira by N1.22 at I&E
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira came under immense pressure on Friday against the United States Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market as more customers approach the banks for their forex needs.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had informed FX users to stop patronising traders at the unregulated segment of the market and use the I&E window for their forex transactions.
But it seems the traders at the official window are battling with FX supply as the demand pressure is taking its toll on the local currency, according to its performance yesterday.
Business Post reports that the domestic currency depreciated against the greenback on Friday by N1.22 or 0.30 per cent to close at N414.90/$1 compared with N413.68/$1 it was traded on Thursday.
It was observed that during the session, the value of trades increased by 10.1 per cent or $17.71 million to $193.59 million from the previous day’s $175.86 million.
At the interbank segment of the market, the value of the indigenous currency also depreciated by 3 kobo to settle at N410.70/$1 in contrast to N410.67/$1 it traded at the preceding session.
As for the digital currency market, there was a downward movement in eight of the 10 tokens monitored by this newspaper yesterday as only the duo of Cardano (ADA) and the United States Dollar Tether (USDT) appreciated at the market by 1.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively to settle at N1,374.04 and N576.01 apiece.
On the other hand, Ethereum (ETH) went down by 7.6 per cent to sell at N1,713,900.99, Litecoin (LTC) dipped by 6.6 per cent to trade at N86,848.72, while Dash (DASH) fell by 5.8 per cent to N97,992.14.
Also, Tron (TRX) declined by 3.9 per cent to finish at N53.39, Ripple (XRP) lost 3 per cent to trade at N559.99 Dogecoin (DOGE) depreciated by 2.4 per cent to trade N125.90, while Bitcoin (BTC) reduced by 1.9 per cent to close at N24,809,058.00.
Brent Climbs Above $78 as Supply Tightens
By Adedapo Adesanya
Brent crude oil rose above $78 a barrel on Friday, precisely to $78.09 per barrel after it appreciated by 1.09 per cent or 84 cents as global output disruptions forced energy companies to pull out large amounts of crude inventories.
Also during the session, the price of the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures improved by 0.63 per cent or 93 cents to finish at $73.98 per barrel.
The Brent posted its highest value since October 2018, while the WTI since July 2021.
It was also the third week of gains for Brent and the fifth for WTI mostly due to US Gulf Coast output disruptions from Hurricane Ida in late August.
The market has been bullish since news of US crude stocks dropped to their lowest since October 2018 and the broader market received more clarity about the US Federal Reserve next policy moves.
After the US Fed signalled that it could begin tapering asset purchases as soon as November and potentially start raising interest rates as soon as next year, oil market participants turned their focus to global oil inventories, especially those in the United States.
The aftermath of Hurricane Ida is still curtailing oil production in the world’s largest producer, with 16 per cent of crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico still offline, according to the latest data from the country’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
The market also gained as US oil refiners were hunting to replace Gulf crude, turning to Iraqi and Canadian oil while Asian buyers have been pursuing Middle Eastern and Russian grades, analysts and traders said.
Positives from one of the world’s biggest exporters, India helped the market as crude imports rose to a three-month peak in August, rebounding from July’s near one-year low.
And the fact that some members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) have struggled to raise output due to under-investment or maintenance delays during the pandemic also added to the bullish sentiment.
Iran, which wants to export more oil, said it will return to talks on resuming compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal very soon, but gave no specific date. The return of Iranian oil may be damaging to the market since it is exempted from OPEC cuts.
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