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Renewed Trade Deal Uncertainty Weighs on US Stocks

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Renewed Trade Deal Uncertainty Weighs on US Stocks

By Investors Hub

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Wednesday following the lackluster performance seen over the past few sessions.

Renewed uncertainty about a potential U.S.-China trade deal may weigh on the markets after President Donald Trump failed to offer many details about the trade talks in a speech on Tuesday.

Early trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders wait for congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Traders are likely to keep a close eye on Powell?s testimony before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee for clues about the outlook for interest rates.

Trump renewed his attacks on the Fed during his remarks on Tuesday, claiming the economy and the markets would be even stronger if the central bank would take his advice and slash interest rates further.

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Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Tuesday, extending the lackluster performance seen over the two previous sessions. Despite the choppy trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the session at new record closing high.

While the Nasdaq rose 21.81 points or 0.3 percent to 8,486.09 and the S&P 500 edged up 4.83 points or 0.2 percent to 3,091.84, the Dow ended the day unchanged at 27,691.49.

Traders initially seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech at the Economic Club of New York this afternoon.

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Activity remained light after Trump spoke, however, as he failed to provide details about the state of trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Trump claimed the Chinese are “dying to make a deal” and an agreement is “close,” although investors had been hoping for more substantive comments from the president.

The president said a significant phase one trade deal with China “could happen soon” but stressed that he would only accept an agreement that is good for U.S. companies and workers.

Trump later denied that his trade war with China is hurting industry or causing uncertainty and threatened further increases in tariffs if a deal is not reached.

The president spent the bulk of his remarks touting the strength of the U.S. economy, crediting his policies cutting taxes and regulation for the growth seen in recent years.

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Reflecting the lackluster performance by the broader markets, most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves.

Oil service stocks showed a significant move to the downside, however, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index falling by 1.5 percent. The weakness in the oil service sector came amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil.

Telecom stocks also saw notable weakness on the day, while gold stocks moved higher as the price of the precious metal turned positive in electronic trading.

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 dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

Stanbic IBTC Enlightens Investors on Available Safe Investment Options

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Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Safe Investment Options

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

Following the strokes of economic uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, recently organised a webinar to proffer guidance on investing in uncertain times.

The webinar via Instagram was themed Investing in Uncertain Times and experts at the Stanbic IBTC enlightened the investing public about the available transparent and safe investment options.

Some of the in-house were Ms Fadekemi Obasanya, Head Investment Management and Ekene Nwaokoro, Fund Analyst.

In her presentation, Ms Obasanya emphasised the importance of gaining needful knowledge from investment professionals about the best investment options per time.

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She also pointed out the various investment options offered by Stanbic IBTC which both current and prospective investors can take advantage of, leveraging on the well-informed financial guidelines provided by the organisation.

She said some of the investment options include Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund, Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund, Stanbic IBTC Enhanced Fixed Income Fund, Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund, among many others under the mutual funds.

Ms Obasanya further stated that many people become victims of fake investment platforms due to misinformation and indiscipline, urging investors to do due diligence before parting with their funds.

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“A lot of people fell prey to fake investment platforms in the previous year. It is wise to stay disciplined and informed about credible investment outlets to avoid losing money, as the main objective of the investment is to generate regular income and capital appreciation.

“People need to be mindful of the type of investment they put their money in. This is why we designed a tool called ‘InvestBeta’ for intending investors to identify their risk appetite, which simply means the amount of risk they are willing and able to take, as well as the available investment options that can help them achieve their investment objective.

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“There are also well-experienced financial advisors on standby to help investors decide on the most suitable options for them,” she said.

Also discussed at the session was the advantage of investing in the Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund, a dollar-denominated mutual fund, which was a response to how investors can hedge against Naira devaluation.

Individuals were educated on the fundamentals of investing and viable investment options, especially amid an unstable economic terrain.

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Economy

Capital Importation into Nigeria Falls to $875.6m in Q2 2021

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capital importation

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Nigeria has recorded a quarter-on-quarter decline of 54.06 per cent in the total value of capital importation into the country in the second quarter of 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed.

In a report released by the agency, it was disclosed that the FX inflows from April to June 2021 stood at $875.6 million in contrast to $1.9 billion recorded in the first quarter of this year.

On a year-on-year basis, the capital importation went down by 32.38 per cent as the inflows in the same period of last year was $1.3 billion.

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Business Post observed that the decline in the period under review was because of lower inflows from foreign direct investments (FDIs), foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) and other investments.

However, in the report, the stats office said the largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 62.97 per cent ($551.4 million) of total capital importation, followed by other investment, which accounted for 28.13 per cent ($246.3 million) of total capital imported, with FDIs accounting for 8.90 per cent ($78.0 million) of total capital imported in Q2 2021.

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By sector, capital importation by banking dominated in Q2 2021, reaching $296.5 million of the total capital

importation in Q2 2021, followed by financing with $205.9 million and shares with $194.6 million.

By source of the capital investment, the United Kingdom was on top with $310.3 million, accounting for 35.43 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q2 2021.

It was trailed by South Africa with $212.4 million and the United States with $83.4 million and by destination, Lagos State emerged as the top destination of capital investment in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with $780.1 million, contributing 89.09 per cent to the total capital inflow in Q2 2021 and by bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc emerged at the top of capital investment in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with $310.2 million, accounting for 35.43 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q2 2021.

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Standard Chartered Bank followed by attracting $282.4 million, while Citi Bank attracted $94.2 million in the second quarter of this year.

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Economy

PenCom Drags 120 Firms to Court for Pension Act Violation

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pension assets

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that it was in court with about 120 companies that have refused to comply with the dictates of the 2014 Pension Reform Act (PRA).

The Director, Corporate Communications of the commission, Mr Peter Aghahowa, stated this in Lagos at the 2021 PenCom workshop for journalists in Lagos.

According to him, the organisation was working assiduously to ensure all pension laws as they affect various policies are totally complied with.

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He noted that compliance varies according to the sector, adding that recovery agents have been engaged to ensure that funds that ought to be remitted to PenCom are not diverted under any guise.

“For the private sector, we engaged recovery agents. By the PRA, any company with more than three workers must key into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

“So, the recovery agents have been empowered. Once they check the books of companies, they will determine their liabilities.

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“We have the employee and employer portion remittances. For those not remitting at all, there is a penalty.

“We have 120 cases in court and these are organisations we tried to work with and they were just recalcitrant.

“Going to court is the last resort because the goal is for the money to the RSAs. We always try to engage.

“In states, they have to enact and implement the CPS. We work with them in coming up with a bill and setting up a pension bureau.

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“Most states have not implemented this well. In enforcing compliance here, you should tread softly. Accrued rights have been paid up”, he said.

The agency has, therefore, called for compliance on contributory pension remittances by employers across the country.

On her part, the PenCom DG, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed that the commission has deepened technological innovation as it seeks to navigate through the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

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