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US Stocks Open Higher on Easing Trade Concerns



US Stocks Open Higher on Easing Trade Concerns

By Investors Hub

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a modestly higher opening on Tuesday, with stocks likely to attempt another rebound after turning lower over the course of the previous session.

The upward momentum on Wall Street comes after the downturn seen on Monday dragged the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 down to six-month closing lows and the Dow fell to its lowest closing level in well over three months.

Traders may once again look to pick up stocks at reduced levels after bargain hunting efforts in the previous session were thwarted by renewed concerns about the trade war between the U.S. and China.

President Donald Trump?s prediction the U.S. will reach a ?great deal? with China on trade may offset some of the concerns, although the president warned of more tariffs if a deal is not possible.

?I think that we will make a great deal with China and it has to be great, because they?ve drained our country,? Trump told Laura Ingraham of Fox News on Monday.

After failing to sustain an early move to the upside, stocks came under pressure over the course of the trading session on Monday. The major averages pulled back well off their best levels of the day and into negative territory.

While the major averages regained some ground going into the close, they remained firmly in the red. The Dow slumped 245.39 points or 1 percent to 24,442.92, the Nasdaq tumbled 116.92 points or 1.6 percent to 7,050.29 and the S&P 500 fell 17.44 points or 0.7 percent to 2,641.25.

The sharp pullback by stocks came after report from Bloomberg said the U.S. is preparing to announce tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports if next month’s talks between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping fail to ease the trade war.

Citing three people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said the announcement of the new round of tariffs could come by early December

Two of the people told Bloomberg the new tariffs would apply to Chinese imports that aren’t already covered by previous rounds of tariffs, or approximately $257 billion worth of goods.

The report from Bloomberg comes as Trump and Xi are expected to meet on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, beginning November 30th.

Shortly before imposing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in September, Trump threatened to levy duties on nearly everything China exports to the U.S.

The early strength on Wall Street came as some traders picked up stocks at reduced levels following the steep drop seen last week, extending the see-saw performance seen over the past few sessions.

Auto stocks helped to lead the way higher after a report from Bloomberg said China is considering cutting a tax on car purchases in half.

The proposal to lower the purchase tax to 5 percent from 10 percent comes as Chinese car sales are on track for their first annual drop in two decades amid the U.S.-China trade war.

News on the merger-and-acquisition front also generated some buying interest, with IBM Corp. (IBM) agreeing to acquire Linux software distributor Red Hat (RHT) for $33 billion in cash.

Buying interest waned over the course of the morning, however, with political uncertainty in Europe limiting the upside for the markets.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing personal income rose by slightly less than expected in the month of September.

Oil service stocks bucked the early uptrend by the markets and saw further downside as the day progressed. The Philadelphia Oil Service Index plummeted by 4.3 percent to its lowest closing level in well over nine years.

Weatherford (WFT) led the oil service sector lower after reporting a narrower than expected third quarter loss but revenues that came in below estimates.

The sell-off by oil service stocks reflected weakness throughout the energy sector, as the price of crude oil fell sharply in electronic trading.

Significant weakness also emerged among retail stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent slump by the Dow Jones Retail Index. With the drop, the index fell to a nearly five-month closing low.

Computer hardware, biotechnology, and networking stocks also came under pressure over the course of the session, while interest rate-sensitive utilities, banking, and commercial real estate stocks ended the day on the upside.

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

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Investors Gain N1.09bn as NASD Share Price Rises 9.1%



NASD Exchange

By Adedapo Adesanya

The unlisted securities market closed the last trading session of the week on a positive note after it appreciated by 0.18 per cent on the back of growth in the share price of NASD Plc.

Business Post reports that the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the bulls’ territory on Friday after it closed flat on Thursday.

NASD Plc was the major driver of the return of the bourse to the green region as its value went up during the session by N2.45 or 9.1 per cent to close at N26.99 per unit in contrast to N24.54 per unit it closed at the previous session.

As a result of this, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.32 points to 745.44 points from 744.12 points, while the market capitalisation gained N1.09 billion to wrap the day at N615.86 billion in contrast to the previous day’s N614.77 billion.

On the activity chart, there was an improvement as the trading volume surged by 34,985.6 per cent because of the 2.3 million units of shares exchanged by market participants compared with the 6,688 units transacted at the previous session.

In the same vein, the trading value rose by 17,680.6 per cent to N63.4 million from the previous day’s N356,563.60, while the number of deals witnessed a 100 per cent rise as investors carried out 12 deals compared to the six deals executed at the previous session.

At the close of trades, Food Concepts Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Service Plc followed with 1.1 billion units valued at N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc was in third place with 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.

Food Concepts Plc was also the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, trailed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.4 million units valued at N9.2 billion, VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.

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Naira Trades N414.73/$1 as Cryptos Bleed Heavily




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 0.02 per cent or 7 kobo on Friday, December 4.

Data showed that the local currency was sold for N414.73/$1 at the investors’ window yesterday compared with the N414.80/$1 it traded on Thursday.

At the final trading session of the week, the turnover was $103.01 million as against $139.67 million achieved at the preceding session, indicating a $36.66 million or 26.62 per cent decline.

Also, the exchange rate of the Naira to the United States currency recorded a movement on Friday, though downward as the Nigerian currency depreciated by 4 kobo as it closed at N411.74/$1 versus the preceding day’s N411.70/$1.

The local currency, however, appreciated by N2.17 against the British Pound Sterling to settle at N546.26/£1 compared to N548.43/£1 it traded at the previous trading session and 57 kobo against the Euro to trade at N465.68/€1 compared to the preceding day’s N466.25/€1.

At the cryptocurrency market, investors counted a heavy loss as the new variant of the coronavirus called Omicron and hawkish comments by the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates have raised serious concerns, causing cryptos to bleed heavily.

The heaviest loss was suffered by Dash (DASH), which plunged by 35.3 per cent to sell for N66,595.85. Ripple (XRP) depreciated 30.6 per cent to trade at N381.85, while Litecoin (LTC) sold for N66,595.85 after declining by 24.1 per cent.

Dogecoin (DOGE) went down by 22.7 per cent to sell at N90.29, Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 20.8 per cent to N652.82, Bitcoin (BTC) depleted by 16.9 per cent to quote at N26,800,504.20, Ethereum (ETH) equally saw a 16.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N2,100,100.39, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 12.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N218,577.24, Tron (TRX) went down by 12.7 per cent to trade at N48.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) recorded a 0.1 per cent marginal loss to sell for N554.76.

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Crude Mixed as Market Remains Unsettled by Omicron Jitters



Crude Oil Prices

By Adedapo Adesanya

Crude prices closed mixed on Friday, December 3 after erasing earlier big gains on growing worries that rising coronavirus cases and a new variant could reduce global oil demand.

Brent crude gained 21 cents or 0.3 per cent to trade at $69.88 per barrel while on the other hand, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 24 cents or 0.36 per cent to sell at $66.26 per barrel.

Both benchmarks declined for a sixth week in a row for the first time since November 2018.

Oil prices had witnessed one of the most troubled weeks as the market reeled from the fear brought about by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus with speculations that it could spark new lockdowns and dent fuel demand.

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to vaccinate their people to fight the virus, saying travel curbs were not the answer.

Even with this, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) surprised the market on Thursday when it stuck to its plans to add 400,000 barrels per day supply in January.

However, it said it will continue to monitor the market and this could make it change course if demand suffered from measures to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The alliance said they could meet again before their next scheduled meeting on January 4.

Analysts noted that with the coronavirus cases rising, the US jobs report for November also didn’t help demand outlook even as the unemployment rate plunged to a 21-month low of 4.2 per cent, suggesting the country’s labour market was rapidly tightening.

US employment growth slowed considerably in November amid job losses at retailers and in local government education.

Meanwhile, in Vienna, diplomats attempting to restore the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers face substantial challenges that need urgent solutions, the top European envoy said Friday. Talks are set to resume next week.

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