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Tropical Storm Zeta Pushes Oil Prices Higher

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Tropical Storm Zeta

By Adedapo Adesanya

Oil futures finished higher on Tuesday as another major storm cut energy output in the Gulf of Mexico even as the market continued to feel the impact on worsening demand from the ongoing rise globally in COVID-19 cases.

As a result, the price of the Brent crude oil went up by 1.78 per cent or 72 cents to $41.18 per barrel while the United States’ futures, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude appreciated by 2.39 per cent or 92 cents to $39.47 a barrel.

Tropical Storm Zeta in the United States has forced evacuations of offshore production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

This hurricane season has caused shutdowns which have put significant pressure on US oil production and pushed it to 9.9 million barrels per day.

The additional support from Tropical Storm Zeta comes at a time when the market is worried about the impact of the second wave of coronavirus.

Zeta is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday and make landfall late Wednesday or Wednesday night.

The disruption from the storm will put pressure on oil production in the country as it will keep the total production levels way below the recent 11 million barrels per day in the near term.

The storm-induced bump in prices may be short-lived, however, with demand expected to weaken anew with coronavirus cases rising.

In the latest round of development, Europe’s daily coronavirus related deaths rose by nearly 40 per cent compared with the previous week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Russia reported a daily record of 320 deaths, pushing the tally to 26,589. There has been a sharp increase in Italy too, with 221 fatalities announced in the past 24 hours. The total number of fatalities in Austria went above 1,000 on Tuesday.

Russia has the world’s fourth-highest number of COVID-19 cases after the US, India and Brazil. It recorded another 16,550 infections on Tuesday alone and authorities have now made the wearing of face masks compulsory in all crowded places.

And in Belgium, doctors have been asked to keep working, even if they have the virus because the health system is in danger of being overwhelmed.

With the demand hit expected from this, the market is also facing fire from developments in Libya. The North African country’s production should rebound to 1 million barrels per day in the coming weeks.

This will further complicate efforts by other members and allies of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to restrict output.

Business Post had been reported that the alliance known as OPEC+, is planning to increase production by 2 million barrels a day from January after record output cuts this year. That would cut overall reductions to 5.8 million barrels per day, still an enormous amount by the standards of major oil producers, but it may not be enough to offset weak demand.

The latest weekly US oil inventory figures are due on Wednesday and are expected to show rising supplies which will further add to the bearish factors.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

CBN Puts Down N500m to Encourage Entrepreneurship Among Students

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Encourage Entrepreneurship

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

As part of its policy measures to address rising youth unemployment and underemployment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it will support students in tertiary institutions to encourage entrepreneurship.

According to the apex bank, a grant of N500 million would be awarded to five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches or ideas.

“Five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas shall be awarded as follows: first place – N150 million; second place – N120 million; third place – N100 million; fourth place – N80 million; and fifth place – N50 million,” a report from the central bank on Wednesday, October 20, titled Guidelines for the implementation of tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme stated.

The bank said it would receive offers from crucial sectors of the economy like agribusiness, information technology, creative industry, and science and technology.

On implementation, CBN disclosed that a Body of Experts (BoE) from the private and public sector would be put together for the regional and national entrepreneurship competitions to evaluate entrepreneurial and technological innovations submitted by participants.

The BoE, who will review and recommend the projects, will comprise four representatives from the Bankers’ Committee, one representative from consulting industry, and one nominee from the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

The body to review the pitches also comprises one nominee each from the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), and from the CBN (Secretary).

“Participation under the developmental component shall be restricted to undergraduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities.

“Interested Nigerian polytechnics and universities shall apply to participate in the national biennial entrepreneurship competition on a dedicated online portal (https://cbnties.com.ng), outlining brief details of the project, potential impact, and evidence of originality of the project.

“The submitted applications shall be evaluated by the BoE through engagements that showcase undergraduates competing by pitching entrepreneurial and technological innovations at regional levels, with finalists proceeding to the national event for final consideration and ranking by the BoE,” CBN disclosed.

According to the bank, the program, which will be aired a month on national television stations and on social media, will help promote the value of entrepreneurship.

It said that the awarded grant will be credited “in tranches of 55:45 ratio” directly to a dedicated account opened for the purpose of the funding.

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Economy

NGX Group Gains 10% to Lift Stock Market by 0.26%

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NGX Group Shares

By Dipo Olowookere

The nation’s stock market rebounded by 0.26 per cent on Wednesday after going down by 0.71 per cent on Monday, which was the last trading session as the exchange was closed on Tuesday for a public holiday in Nigeria.

Investors were in high spirits yesterday when they returned to the market and this reflected in the level of activity as the trading volume rose by 47.47 per cent to 499.5 million stocks from 338.7 million stocks, the trading value increased by 25.16 per cent to N5.1 billion from N4.1 billion, while the number of deals grew by 2.25 per cent 5,998 deals from 5,866 deals.

Business Post reports that when the exchange closed for the day, FBN Holdings was the most traded equity with the sale of 147.6 million units valued at N1.8 billion, followed by eTranzact, which transacted 105.2 million units worth N215.6 million.

Furthermore, Access Bank sold 27.9 million units worth N266.0 million, Transcorp traded 22.3 million units valued at N22.8 million, while GTCO recorded a turnover of 20.6 million shares worth N612.9 million.

It was observed that the market closed in the positive territory as a result of the growth posted by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc as its share price went up by 10.00 per cent to settle at N21.45.

GlaxoSmithKline rose by 6.87 per cent to N7.00, NPF Microfinance Bank gained 5.85 per cent to trade at N1.81, Coronation Insurance grew by 4.17 per cent to 50 kobo, while FBN Holdings appreciated by 3.83 per cent to N12.20.

On the flip side, Prestige Assurance was the worst loser as its value depreciated by 8.51 per cent to 43 kobo, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance fell by 8.33 per cent to 55 kobo, Academy Press also dropped 8.33 per cent to 33 kobo, Cadbury Nigeria lost 5.88 per cent to sell for N8.00, while Union Bank went down by 5.66 per cent to N5.00.

In all, a total of 21 stocks closed on the gainers’ chart while 18 stocks finished on the losers’ chart, indicating a positive market breadth and investor sentiment.

However, three of the five major sectors of the market closed bearish with the energy, consumer goods and banking counters losing 0.39 per cent, 0.24 per cent and 0.20 per cent respectively, while the insurance and industrial goods sectors rose by 0.58 per cent and 0.04 per cent apiece.

At the close of transactions, the All-Share Index (ASI) improved by 105.04 points to 41,249.71 points from 41,144.67 points, while the market capitalisation expanded by N54 billion to N21.526 trillion from N21.472 trillion.

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Economy

Naira Appreciates to N414.07/$1 as Bitcoin Hits $66k

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bitcoin nigerians

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 0.16 per cent or 66 kobo on Wednesday, October 20 as trading returned after the Eid-el-Maulud holiday break.

At the close of business at the midweek session, the local currency was sold for N414.07/$1 in contrast to N414.73/$1 it was traded on Monday, according to data obtained from FMDQ Securities Exchange.

During the second trading session of the week, a turnover of $334.97 million was recorded as against the $172 million achieved at the preceding session.

This indicated a $162.97 million or 48.7 per cent rise in the value of transactions yesterday and because of the anticipation of pressure on the Nigerian currency, FX supply was made available to traders and this supported the growth posted by the domestic currency during the trading day.

But at the interbank segment of the market, the Nigerian currency maintained stability against the American Dollar as it remained unchanged at N410.89/$1 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, at the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin (BTC) rallied to an all-time high (ATH) of $66,000 yesterday as optimism surged for greater mainstream acceptance in the wake of the successful launch of the first exchange-traded fund for US investors.

In a Naira equivalent, the most popular digital coin in the world was sold for N37,004,384.99 after it rose by 2.8 per cent.

On October 19, 2021, the Proshares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) was launched. The bitcoin exchange-traded fund is the first ETF ever to be approved in the United States and it’s based on bitcoin futures markets.

This development, Business Post gathered, triggered a renewed interest in the cryptos and caused Litecoin (LTC) to rise by 9.3 per cent to N117,992.99. Dash (DASH) went up by 5.9 per cent to sell for N111,892.63, Tron (TRX) grew by 4.7 per cent to trade at N58.70, while Ripple (XRP) appreciated by 4.4 per cent to trade at N635.00.

Further, Dogecoin (DOGE) was 4.2 per cent higher to sell at N150.96, Cardano (ADA) saw its value rise by 4.1 per cent to N1,305.81, Binance Coin (BNB) made a 3.4 per cent gain to trade at N205,395.75, while Ethereum (ETH) rose by 1.7 per cent to trade at N2,203,900.99.

However, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) went down by 0.4 per cent to sell for N565.49.

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