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Dollar On Standby Ahead of NFP



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FXTM Research Analyst Lukman Otunuga comments on the vulnerable Euro received a lifeline during trading on Thursday with prices springing above 1.0600 following the hawkish surprise from the European Central Bank that caught markets off guard.

The ever-rising expectations of the Federal Reserve raising US interest rates in March have made the Greenback king this trading week. Although the Dollar Index has found itself under some selling pressure below 102.00 during early trading on Friday, this technical correction could simply provide a foundation for bulls to install fresh rounds of buying in the future.

With the blockbuster ADP report boosting the bullish sentiment towards the Dollar, further appreciations could be expected if today’s NFP exceeds estimates. Bulls remain in firm control moving forward and it may take an extreme anomaly in the pending US jobs report to abruptly cool the heated expectations of the Fed taking action next week.

From a technical standpoint, the Dollar Index is bullish on the daily charts. A weekly close above 102.00 could encourage a further incline higher towards 102.50.

Euro Gifted A Hawkish Lifeline
The vulnerable Euro received a lifeline during trading on Thursday with prices springing above 1.0600 following the hawkish surprise from the European Central Bank that caught markets off guard. Although key interest rates were kept at record lows as expected, the optimism radiating from Mario Draghi regarding the recovery of the European economy simply inspired the Euro bulls.

With the central bank no longer seeing a “sense of urgency” to take further action on monetary stimulus, markets may acknowledge this as a potential inflection point for the ECB to gradually change its monetary stance.

The fact that policymakers are already anticipating that it will not be necessary to lower interest rates further in the future could signal a gradual end to an era of negative rates if the European economy continues to stabilize.

Although the outlook for Europe is starting to look somewhat encouraging amid the positive economic data, the uncertainty gravitating around the elections in Europe continues to weigh heavily on sentiment.

The threat of political developments overshadowing the positive macroeconomic factors could expose the Euro to sharp losses in the short to medium term.

While the current upside momentum on the EURUSD is impressive, gains could be swiftly surrendered today if NFP meets or exceeds expectations. From a technical standpoint, the EURUSD remains trapped in a wide 150 pip range. Bears remain in control below the tough 1.0650 resistance.

Commodity Spotlight – Gold
Gold has been sold off incessantly this week with prices crashing below $1200 as speculations heighten over the Federal Reserve raising US interest rates this month.

Bears have exploited the Dollar’s stability to pressure the yellow metal further during trading on Friday as prices currently trade around $1195. With Gold’s sensitivity to US interest rate hike expectations reaching shocking levels this quarter, more downside could be expected as expectations mount over the Fed raising US rates repeatedly in 2017.

Although risk aversion from the political uncertainty in Europe, Brexit woes and Trump developments could support the metal in the longer term, bears remain in firm control this month.

From a technical standpoint, the zero-yielding metal is firmly bearish on the daily charts and a solid NFP report this afternoon could encourage a steeper decline towards $1190 and potentially lower.

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Customers to Sue Banks over Stamp Duty Collections




Stakeholders have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to withdraw its circular mandating banks to collect stamp duties from customers’ bank accounts, stressing that such directive and practice is unconstitutional, according to the Tribune.

According to them, if the practice of deducting stamp duties from customers’ bank accounts is not suspended, it is expected that other stakeholders would challenge the banks in court, on a case by case basis.

Thus, the impending legal suits that would emanate as a result are likely to disrupt the activities of banks and result to additional legal costs, they warned.

Stakeholders at various occasions have also charged deposit money banks to suspend the practice of collecting stamp duties on receipts for deposits and transfers by customers.

The Stamp Duties Act (SDA), Chapter S8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 (SDA) provides the legal basis for the imposition and collection of stamp duties in Nigeria.

A tax audit and financial advisory services firm, Deloitte, in a document titled: “Stamp Duties on Bank Deposits and Transfers: Are There Unresolved Issues?” and obtained by Tribune stated that, stamp duties are chargeable on all instruments relating to matters executed between a company and individual, group or body of individuals and those executed between persons or individuals. The instruments the firm noted, upon which stamp duties are chargeable include bond, bill of exchange, promissory note, covenant, conveyance on sale, lease, mortgage, among others.

This general rule according to the tax experts did not include receipts for transfer to self, transfers from savings accounts and receipts in respect of salaries and wages, yet, further to a statement issued by CBN on 21 January 2016 banks have continued to deduct these duties.

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UBA Disrupts the Market, Delights Customers with Callback Technology




It would appear that the United Bank for Africa Plc has carved a niche for itself and gone way above its peers with its deployment of Al-powered Callback Technology.

The Al-Powered Callback Technology is one that enables the bank to call back customers instantly when they contact the bank for one reason or the other.

The UBA Group seems to have taken advantage of this high-powered system that even western banks are yet to fully implement as it has gone beyond the legacy banking systems, to omni channel marketing and social media lead generation.

This largely involves meeting its customers where they are – on websites, email, social networks, and cross-device platforms.

It is interesting to note that customers calling the bank for various reasons now have the option of requesting a call back to get on demand information. This has been implemented by using web to phone callback technology developed by Lucep.

Basically, the way it works is that customers can see the website widget deployed on the bank’s website for several financial services and products, wherein they can enter in their name and number, and select the reason for which they want a call back.

Thereafter, the Lucep AI takes the callback request, and distributes it to the right team, ensuring it goes to an authorized member of the team who has the app on their smartphone. This member can then connect back to the customer through the app itself.

Such instant response systems have huge benefits especially when it’s about following up on new customers who are inquiring about banking services.

If for example, a potential client is searching for the best mortgage rates and calls several banks including UBA.

UBA being the only bank that has implemented this Al -powered technology with an instant lead response system, is able to give the customer a call-back within one or two minutes.

This activity will naturally give the bank an edge over its competition as it will probably be the first to reach the customer back. The bank is therefore able to engage customers and offer their services faster than any other bank.

It is this kind of attention to detail, personalized service, and deft use of the latest technologies that has helped UBA stay ahead of its competitors in Africa, and ahead of the trends in the global banking industry.

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Five ‘Must’ Know Before Putting Your Money in Bitcoin




Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoin is now worth $4,317.

Due to this, many are encouraging others to invest in the cryptocurrency. Nigerians are slowly embracing Bitcoin.

In line with this, Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency share things Nigerians must know before joining the Bitcoin train.

More People Are Using Bitcoin
Despite the fact that some Nigerians are struggling to accept Bitcoin, more people are embracing it after years of gradual growth.
Hence, whether we like it or not, Bitcoin is the future and we have no choice than to use it.

Retailers And Vendors Are Accepting Bitcoin
You can now pay for whatever you purchase online with Bitcoin as some retailers have made it possible to settle transactions with it. Some notable companies that accept Bitcoin include Expedia, Microsoft, Subway, Newegg, TigerDirect, Tesla and PayPal. So, do not be surprised when some Nigerian companies start to accept Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Transfers Are Fast And flexible
While many financial institutions charge you or take days to process transactions, Bitcoin allows transfers from one account to another almost for free. Of course, you must already have your money in Bitcoin form. There is no need for any middlemen. As a result, the transfer is seamless.

Extremely Volatile
Bitcoin is still growing like earlier mentioned and there are a number of market factors that influence it. It very dependent on the rules of demand and supply.
The more people are willing to buy Bitcoins, the more the Bitcoin value will increase. Conversely, if more people sell, the prices will decline.

Treat It As Speculating, Not An Investment
Cryptocurrencies have a bright future as a new way to conduct commerce and business. That is not the same thing as saying that their value right now is sustainable. It’s early days yet, and, while the number of businesses accepting cryptocurrencies are growing, it’s not big enough for most of the demand to be built on legitimate trade.
This means that buying cryptocurrencies is speculation, not investment. Hence, you should be willing to lose the money you invest in buying Bitcoin!




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