Upbeat Jobs Data May Generate Early Buying Interest
The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a higher open on Friday following the release of a report from the Labour Department showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of January. The data is likely to add to optimism about the outlook for economy.
The markets may also benefit from analyst comments suggesting that the slowdown in the annual rate of wage growth shown in the report will lead the Federal Reserve to leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting in March.
Stocks showed a lack of direction throughout much of the trading session on Thursday after recovering from an initial move to the downside. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
The major averages eventually ended the session mixed. While the S&P 500 inched up 1.30 points or 0.1 percent at 2,280.85, the Dow edged down 6.03 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 19,884.91 and the Nasdaq dipped 6.45 points or 0.1 percent to 5,636.20.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid uncertainty about the monthly jobs report as well as the impact of President Donald Trump’s policies.
Ahead of the monthly jobs report, the Labour Department released a report showing a bigger than expected drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended January 28th.
The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 246,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 260,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 253,000.
A separate report released by the Labour Department this morning showed a continued increase in labour productivity in the fourth quarter.
The report said productivity climbed by 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter after surging up by a revised 3.5 percent in the third quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 1.0 percent.
The Labour Department also said unit labor costs surged up by 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter following a 0.2 percent uptick in the previous quarter. Costs had been expected to jump by 1.9 percent.
Meanwhile, reports of a contentious call between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have raised some concerns about relations with key allies under the new administration.
Trump also said Iran has been “put on notice” after conducting a ballistic missile test, further sparking some geopolitical concerns.
Most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, contributing to the roughly flat close by the broader markets.
Gold stocks moved sharply higher, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index surging up by 2.3 percent. With the jump, the index reached a nearly three-month closing high.
Considerable strength was also visible among natural gas stocks, as reflected by the 1.6 percent gain posted by the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index. The index rebounded after ending the previous session at its lowest closing level in well over two months.
Steel and commercial real estate stocks also saw notable strength on the day, while weakness was visible among telecom and brokerage stocks.
In 22nd Trading Week of 2023, NASD Swells by N20.35bn
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to positive territory, as it was pregnant by 2.1 per cent in the 22nd trading week of 2023.
This pregnancy gave rise to the increase in the market capitalisation of the exchange by N20.35 billion in the four-day trading week to N1.022 trillion from the N1.001 trillion it finished in Week 21.
In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) added 15.09 points to wrap the week at 739.21 points compared with 724.12 points recorded a week earlier.
The growth was supported by the market breadth index, which produced seven price gainers and one single price loser in the week under review.
FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc jumped by 7.1 per cent to end the week at N75.00 per unit, in contrast to the previous week’s N70.00 per unit, Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc gained 6.1 per cent to close at N245.00 per share versus the previous week’s N231.00 per share, and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) recorded an 8.6 per cent growth to end at N15.20 per share versus N14.00 per share.
Further, 11 Plc rose by 3.8 per cent to N119.40 per unit from N115.00 per unit, NASD Plc improved by 9.9 per cent to N15.50 per share from N14.10 per share, Acorn Petroleum Plc grew by 7.1 per cent to 15 Kobo from 14 Kobo, while Nipco Plc added 2.9 per cent to trade at N72.00 per unit compared with the earlier week’s N70.00 per unit.
However, the share price of UBN Property Plc depreciated by 2.1 per cent to close at 92 Kobo per unit, in contrast to the preceding week’s 94 Kobo per unit.
In the week under review, there was a 1760.9 per cent increase in the trading value to N482.4 million from N25.9 million, the trading volume rose by 1,317.5 per cent to 10.4 million units from 730,759 units, and the number of deals declined by 6.94 per cent to 67 deals from 72 deals.
UBN Property Plc was the most traded stock by volume with 5.00 million units, FrieslandCampina sold 2.38 million units, Acorn Petroleum Plc recorded 1.13 million units, NDEP Plc traded 820,000 units and VFD Group Plc transacted 380,000 units.
In terms of value, NDEP Plc led with N202 million, FrieslandCampina posted N167 million, VFD Group Plc traded N87 million, 11 Plc reported 10 million, and Nipco Plc traded N5.05 million.
In the year so far, unlisted securities investors have bought and sold 1.70 billion units of stocks valued at N5.53 billion in 1,327 deals, according to data obtained by Business Post.
Outspan Educates Farmers on Sustainable Dairy Farming Practices
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The threats posed by climate change on the globe, especially food security, have necessitated the need for sustainable farming practices. To commemorate 2023 World Milk Day, some farmers in Kano State were gathered by Outspan Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Olam food ingredients (ofi), to educate them on remaining in business for a long time without affecting the environment.
Under this year’s theme of Sustainable Dairy: Good for Planet, Good for You, the day was an opportunity to engage and celebrate the local dairy community as part of Outspan’s broader efforts to promote sustainable dairy farming practices, wider milk consumption, and education for farmers’ children.
“Sustainability is critical to ofi’s value proposition to offer good ingredients for consumers, farmers, and the world.
“Maintaining proper care of cattle herds, natural resources, and land is critical to addressing climate change. This is why we organized a lecture on sustainable dairy farming practices for dairy farmers,” the Regional Manager for ofi’s dairy business in Nigeria, Mr Manish Khede, said.
He added that the business also prioritizes the education of the farmers’ children as this will help to provide them with a buffer for the future. He pointed to the educational materials comprising textbooks and school bags being donated to the children as the business’ way of aiding the children’s learning.
Regarding milk consumption, Mr Khede said, “According to Healthline, a global health information platform, milk is a good source of vital nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and protein.
“We believe that promoting access to and consumption of fresh and safe milk in Kano State can contribute to healthier communities and productivity too.”
On his part, the Vice President of ofi’s dairy business in Nigeria, Mr Praveen Paulsamy, said, “We are committed to the Federal Government’s economic development agenda. Hence, we’re looking to continue our investment in developing the local dairy value chain to remove the hurdles impeding growth along the chain and the dairy farming communities.”
Business Post reports that the event also had representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), members of the Kano Dairy Cooperative, local chiefs, and key officials from state and federal ministries of agriculture in Kwanar Dawakin Kudu LGA of Kano State.
While addressing the participants, a representative of the Branch Controller of the CBN in Kano, Mr Lawan Ahmed, said, “The milk industry provides valuable nutrients that support healthy physiological growth among the populace. The players in the industry deserve to be celebrated.”
The Director of Livestock and Poultry Service in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kano, Mr Garzali Muhammed, stated that, “Outspan has been instrumental in enhancing the productivity of the members of Kano Dairy Cooperative. The various backward integration investments embarked upon by the business have positively impacted the productivity rate and income levels of the dairy farming community in the state.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of Kano Dairy Cooperative, Mr Usman Abdullahi, thanked Outspan for “raising the level of milk production in Nigeria.”
It was learned that Outspan donated educational materials such as school bags and textbooks to the dairy farmers’ children, encouraged wider milk consumption, and improved public health.
SEC Pledges to Create More Wealth for Investors
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Efforts would be made to create more wealth for investors and Nigerians and stimulate economic growth, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) promised.
At a meeting over the weekend, the Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, said this would be achieved by deepening and diversifying the capital market.
He said when capital markets are developed, the entire engine of saving and investing and allocating resources to the projects with the highest expected returns is made easy.
“And if you do that effectively, you will see that you will create more jobs in the economy, create more revenue for the government and make life easier for all investors.
“When that happens, you have a lot of interested parties that want to put in their money to help the market develop,” he said.
The DG said in a bid to develop the market; the agency saw the need to have a forum where it could interface with issuers in a bid to discourage delisting.
“When issuers delist, they do because of certain issues. So, we decided to engage Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and set up the Securities Issuers Forum. This was done to sit and discuss the issues and find solutions to them,” the SEC chief stated.
Mr Yuguda said that SEC was working hard to look at the various issues and ensure that the problem of delisting by companies is brought under check.
The SEC DG disclosed that the commission has put in place various other incentives to encourage companies to list, as listing provides enormous benefits to companies and investors.
“Listing enhances higher investor protection. This collaboration with NECA has been very fruitful, and that has given confidence to many of the players. We have started getting interest from the big players,” he noted.
He stated that some strategic listings have recently happened in the market, and the organisation was encouraging the diversification of the equity market by listing companies within power generation, telecommunications and foods.
He said, “We have had some strategic listings like the IPO of MTN, BUA Foods etc. and asset class creation or new products like derivatives have further helped diversify the listings from the huge leaning on the financial sector (banks and insurance) several years back.
“The problem with this market is when the big players do not list. So we started getting interest from the big players like MTN. And they decided to come in a very imaginative way. They decided to make the offer electronically so that people with telephones could subscribe without going through an intermediary,” Mr Yuguda said, assuring that the commission would continue collaborating with various market stakeholders to support impactful innovation in the capital market.
“For example, our keen support of the innovation by the Issuing House to the MTN IPO in 2022, Chapel Hill Advisory, further promoted the benefits of electronic-IPO (e-IPO), which made it possible for over 100,000 new accounts to be opened on the CSCS, most of which belong to youths and women- key subsets of our demography which is considered critical to sustainable growth.
“Information Technology and FinTech is fast becoming Nigeria’s new oil, and we continue to support the participation of fintechs in helping the capital market attract the youth and to help ease onboarding and ‘democratise’ access to wealth management services,” he added.
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