Connect with us


FXTM Analysis: Financial Markets Seeking Inspiration



Forex Time.jpg

FXTM Research Analyst Lukman Otunuga comments on the current moods of Sterling, WTI and Gold.

An eerie calm shrouded the financial markets last week, with global stocks floating near record highs as investors maintained a cautious trading stance.

The rising anxiety over ongoing geopolitical tensions has exposed Asian shares to losses during early trading on Monday with some disappointing data from China compounding to the downside pressure. Although the current absence of political risk in Europe continues to elevate European equities, the upside may face headwinds down the road from the persistent uncertainty gravitating around Brexit.

Wall Street relinquished short-term gains on Friday following the soft retail sales and inflation data and should be poised to edge lower this afternoon as investors re-evaluate the likelihood of an interest rate increase in June.

With an air of anxiety suffocating participants who seek risk, and soft economic data from the US and China weighing on sentiment, the “Sell in May and go away” strategy may become a popular choice.

Sterling Edges Above 1.2900
Sterling ventured higher on Monday but this appreciation felt more technical than fundamental as prices found support above the daily 20 Simple Moving Average.

Although short term bulls may exploit the upside momentum to elevate the Pound higher towards 1.3000, uncertainty over Brexit should limit gains in the medium to longer-term. Sterling bears still have a shot to attack, especially when considering that the threat of Brexit negatively impacting the UK economy has encouraged the Bank of England to maintain a dovish stance.

The central bank has already trimmed its prediction for growth this year amid the Brexit uncertainty while rising levels of inflation and sluggish wage continue to dent consumer confidence. With consumer spending likely to face a squeeze amid the accelerating inflation and vulnerable Sterling, the GBPUSD still remains exposed to downside risks.

While bulls may propel the GBPUSD towards 1.3000 in the short term, repeated weakness below 1.2775 will encourage a decline towards 1.2600.

WTI Offered Another Lifeline
Oil markets received a solid boost on Monday and bulls offered a lifeline after top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia said that supply cuts should be extended until March 2018. While the prospect of the world’s two top oil producers working together to battle the oversupply woes may support WTI in the short term, gains may be limited if US Shale’s incessant pumping sabotages OPEC’s effort to stabilize the markets.

Although most remain cautiously optimistic that the OPEC meeting on 25 May will result in an extension to the supply cut deal, one should learn to always expect the unexpected when dealing with the cartel.

From a technical standpoint, a daily close above $49 on WTI Crude should encourage a further appreciation towards the psychological $50 level.

Commodity spotlight – Gold
Gold edged higher on Monday after weaker than expected economic data from the US on Friday exposed the Dollar to losses. Ongoing geopolitical tensions concerning North Korea continue to support the yellow metal with prices trading around $1230 as of writing.

Although Gold remains technically bearish on the daily charts, this period of uncertainty should trigger a technical bounce that opens a path towards $1245. From a technical standpoint, bulls need a daily close above $1235 to open the gates towards $1245. In an alternative scenario, a breakdown below $1225 may trigger a selloff back towards $1215.


Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading


Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time



Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

Continue Reading


ePayment Stakeholders’ Seek Review of Policy on PoS to Boost Growth



Worried by slow pace of growth in the use of Point of Sale terminal (PoS) as a means of payment in the country, stakeholders have called on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)to review its policy direction in that ecosystem.


This is coming as Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed fluctuations in the figure of registered and deployed terminals between August and October this year.


According to a report released by NIBSS the industry Payments Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA), the number of deployed  terminals increased in August to 141, 531 and dropped to 140, 448 in September and increased again in October to 145, 350.


Also, same was noticed on the number of registered terminal with August recording 173, 815 and came down to 169, 318 in September while October witnessed increase to 176, 185.


Sarafadeen Fasasi, president, Association of Mobile Money Agents in Nigeria, attributed this slow growth to a number of factors which includes lack of support to drive the business.


“Support I mean is providing financial backing for transactions on the PoS just the way ATMs are loaded with cash for withdrawals. Today, there are no facility for PoS agency business by the banks which is the major determinant of success or failure of PoS innovation,” he said.


He decried lack of structure on ground to resolve issues arising from PoS transactions.


“If customer’s account is debited without ATM paying, the individual will go to the bank and fill form for reversal, but in PoS transactions there is no such thing which has pushed customers to resolve to holding on to PoS attendant to ensure that the issue is sorted out. As at today, all issues arising from ATM, switching, PoS, online among others, are under NIBSS which does not have the capacity to coup with these issues,” he said.


He however, urged CBN to review her policy on PoS for it to witness the desired growth, such review he said could come in creating a unit to address issues arising from PoS transactions.


“If the policy is reviewed it will build trust and confidence in the use of the platform for payment. More so, PoS fixed charge is high at .075, this means that customer is charged N750 on N100,000 transaction compared to N65 charged on withdrawal outside of customer’s bank ATM,” he added.


Onajite Regha, executive secretary/CEO, E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN)said: “So far, E-PPAN in its advocacy nature has taken steps ahead to break the barrier of this poor adoption. We are looking into capturing the lower part of the pyramid with the mobile payments awareness which will see more people included financially and thereby increase the adoption of the Cashless policy.”


“We are also open to discussions on advocacy and sensitization from financial bodies who have products and services to render in the pursuit of the success of this policy. From time to time we carry out sensitization, financial literacy and education programme and we partner with stakeholders to expose the benefits of electronic payments to consumers across the strata”.


Continue Reading


Africa FinTech Foundary set to Disrupt FinTech Ecosystem



L-R: Victor Etuokwu, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank Plc; Averi Thomas-Moore, Company Builder, Venture Lab, ACCION and Victor Okigbo, Head, Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) at a press conference to announce the maiden edition of ‘AFF Disrupt’ Conference 2017 in Lagos.

Africa FinTech Foundary, an Access bank accelerator which seeks to create new opportunities in sub-saharan Africa by providing a platform designed to inspire and challenge African innovators and entrepreneurs is set to launch with a conference on FinTech ecosystem.

The conference dubbed ‘AFF Disrupt’ is scheduled to hold on December 14, 2017 in Lagos.

Victor Etuokwu, executive director, Access bank, said that AFF will provide African companies seeking to launch their products, with capacity building and training in business development, provide connectivity to global innovation grids, promote access to capital, create opportunities for partnership as well as showcase best practices and successes in African-led innovation solution.

“Every FinTech seeks to disrupt the world through product or solution and AFF is here to disrupt. We want to do things that will drive the economy through innovative products and solutions. We are going to gather a team of investors that will help fund innovators that graduates from the accelerator programme of AFF,” he said.

Victor Okigbo, head, Africa FinTech Foundary (AFF), said that the Foundary has lined up activities preceding the main launch event which include master classes on entrepreneurship technology, enterprise design, collectively referred to as the AFF Innovation Tour, holding in four African cities this November.

He said AFF is in partnership with global technology giants such as IBM, Microsoft, Systemic Logic, Kantar TNS, SAS and Access bank as part of the AFF Disrupt programmes.

Adekele Adekoya, Event Coordinator for the AFF Disrupt conference, said that AFF seeks to create new opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa by providing a platform designed to inspire and challenge African Innovators and entrepreneurs.

“We want to engage with startups in all the locations we visit. This is a very good opportunity for startups to take advantage of the partner network created by AFF DISTRUPT and its partners to create linkages and networks that can help grow their businesses,” he said.

The vetting process is currently going on, and a total number of 12 starts-ups would be selected from a pool of about 400 start-ups, to demo at the AFF Disrupt 2017 conference holding in Lagos and also get to be part of the Africa FinTech Foundary’s 3-month accelerator programme.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.