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FXTM: Markets Enter Q2 On a Mellow Note




FXTM Research Analyst Lukman Otunuga comments on the Greenback cruised into the second quarter of 2017 with style as bulls propelled prices towards 100.60 amid the positive sentiment towards the U.S economy.

Global stocks traded mildly higher on Monday as investors re-accessed both the health of the global economy and major market themes for the second quarter of 2017.

Although a sense of caution lingered across the board ahead of a data-packed week, Asian shares remained resilient with most stocks strolling into the green territory.

While the moderate appetite for risk has supported European equities, gains on Wall Street could be limited if market participants decide to observe the action from a safe distance.

Much attention will be directed towards Donald Trump’s pending meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping which may be classified as an event risk.

Any complications or tension in the meeting could spark risk aversion consequently pressuring stock markets while boosting attraction for safe-haven assets.

Dollar Index Hovering Around 100.50
The Greenback cruised into the second quarter of 2017 with style as bulls propelled prices towards 100.60 amid the positive sentiment towards the U.S economy.

While the upside momentum that has elevated prices back above the 100.00 psychological level is undeniably impressive, questions may be asked if the rally is sustainable.

The expectations over US rate hike timings have heavily impacted the Dollar with investors desperately seeking further clarity on when rates will be hiked again.

While the Greenback could trade higher from the improving confidence towards the US economy, participants remain somewhat cautious over Trump’s protectionist measures and the threat of his market shaking policies falling below expectations.

When accessing the Dollar from an aerial view, the currency is engaged in a fierce tug of war between the Fed and Trump with no clear winner in sight.

Focusing on today, a positive ISM Manufacturing PMI figure could encourage bullish investors to propel the Dollar Index back above 100.60.

Brexit Season 3: Negotiations Get Under Way
Sterling/Dollar has been erratic, volatile and range bound since the official invocation of Article 50 last week with resistance around 1.2570 and support at 1.2370. Now that the European Union has shared the draft guidelines on the future of the UK relationship after Brexit, investors are now waiting for the next key steps. It seems that the EU may be willing to play hardball in the negotiations, especially after rejecting Theresa May’s Brexit timetable and demanding for a divorce settlement before any future trade deals are discussed.

With uncertainty still a certainty when dealing with Brexit, Sterling may be exposed to further downside shocks. If bears manage to drag the GBPUSD back below 1.2370, a decline towards 1.2200 remains a live possibility.

On the other hand, a breakout above 1.2570 could trigger a further incline towards 1.2650.

Currency spotlight – EURUSD
The EURUSD found itself under fresh selling pressure on Monday as the lingering political uncertainty in Europe created a foundation for sellers to attack.

With optimism diminishing over the ECB raising interest rates fueling the downside momentum, the EURUSD could be poised to descend much lower.

Last week’s rejection from the 1.0900 resistance has given bears the green light to install repeated rounds of selling. From a technical standpoint, previous support around 1.0700 could transform into a dynamic resistance that encourages a decline towards 1.0500.



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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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