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Nigeria week in review : trade hopes falter, Brexit talks collapse, Gold sinks

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By Lukman Otunuga, FXTM Research Analyst,

It has been a turbulent trading week for financial markets as investors tussled with ongoing trade developments, Brexit uncertainty and geopolitical tensions across the globe.

Risk sentiment crumbled today on reports circulating around China’s lack of interest to resume trade discussions with the United States. Global equity markets were flashing red amid the uncertainty and this negative mood could roll over into the new trading week.

Markets remain uncertain at this point in time as to whether the seemingly confrontational rhetoric following the escalation in the US-China trade dispute over the past two weeks actually spells the death of any trade deal. Perhaps the weekend couldn’t have come at a better time, allowing time for investors to digest the latest commentary and ascertain whether both sides are playing hardball as an intended signal, a show of brinkmanship, or just plain noise before the scheduled G20 meeting in Japan next month.

Pound hammered as Brexit talks collapse

It was already a terrible trading week for the British Pound thanks to the political risk circus in Westminster and Brexit-related uncertainty.

Recent reports of cross-party talks between the Conservative and Labour party concluding without a deal have compounded to the Pound’s woes today. With the failure of cross-party talks and Theresa May agreeing to set a date for her departure fueling concerns over the UK potentially crashing out the EU without a deal in October, Pound weakness is likely to remain a dominant theme.

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In regards to the technical picture, the GBPUSD is bearish on the daily and weekly charts. The currency pair extended losses on the negative news this morning, with prices trading around 1.2750 as of writing. A weekly close below 1.2820 has the potential to open a path towards 1.2700 and 1.2620, respectively.

All eyes on Nigeria GDP in the week ahead

Next week kicks off with a bang for the Nigerian economy as GDP figures for Q1 are scheduled to be released on Monday. Investors will closely scrutinize the data for insights into the health of the nation during the first quarter of 2019. A figure that exceeds market expectations is likely to boost sentiment over the Nigerian economy.

Commodity spotlight – Gold

This has not been the best of trading weeks for Gold with prices trading around $1283 as of writing.

Conflicting signals over the direction of US – China trade talks caused risk sentiment to swerve back and forth which ultimately impacted appetite for Gold. Although the yellow metal is trading back towards $1285 level at the time of writing, bulls remain in control above $1280. With uncertainty over trade talks likely to stimulate the flight to safety, safe-haven assets like Gold are poised to remain buoyed. Technical traders will continue to closely observe how prices behave around the $1285 region. Bulls need to break back above $1300 for prices to push higher in the medium term.

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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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An eventful week for Nigeria slowly comes to an end

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By Lukman Otunuga, FXTM Research Analyst,

It has been an incredibly eventful trading week for the Nigerian economy. The week kicked off with a bang as GDP figures slightly disappointed by cooling 2.05% during the first quarter of 2019.

Although this development initially sparked concerns over the nation’s growth momentum cooling, it must be kept in mind that this was the fastest first quarter growth experienced since 2015. On Tuesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria left interest rates unchanged at 13.5% as widely expected. The key take-away from the MPC meeting was the fact that the central bank identified that emerging markets remain exposed to external shocks in the form of trade tensions, Brexit and concerns over slowing global growth. Later on Tuesday afternoon, Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing PMI figures surpassed market expectations which boosted confidence over the health of the largest economy in Africa.

With the latest economic metrics pointing to signs of stability, the outlook for the Nigerian economy remains encouraging. Further signs of improving economic fundamentals and easing inflationary pressures should prompt the Central Bank of Nigeria to make a move before the end of 2019 in an effort to stimulate economic growth. Although improving domestic conditions will be a welcome development for the nation, investors should not overlook external factors impacting the nation’s recovery. Ongoing US-China trade developments, Oil prices and the Dollar’s valuation will play a role in how Nigeria concludes 2019.

Dollar buoyed by trade worries.. but for how long?

The story defining the Dollar’s appreciation continues to revolve around persistent US-China trade tensions accelerating the flight to safety.

Uncertainty ahead of the European Parliament elections and Brexit drama have also fuelled risk aversion – ultimately boosting appetite for the Dollar which has become a destination for safety. While the Dollar could continue rising on the perception that the United States remains in a better position than everyone else, the question is for how long?

Markets still expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year while ongoing trade tensions could end up negatively impacting the US economy. With market sentiment extremely fragile and investors on edge, it could take an unexpected catalyst to send the Dollar tumbling.

Commodity spotlight – Gold

Gold is struggling to benefit from the cautious market mood thanks to an appreciating Dollar. The precious metal has struggled to break back above the $1280 level this week despite ongoing US-China trade tensions and Brexit accelerating the flight to safety. While Gold bears are losing this battle, the war is far from over. With a patient Fed, speculation of a US rate cut and lingering concerns over slowing global growth still core themes, Gold remains supported in the longer term.

In regards to the technical picture, sustained weakness below $1280 is likely to open a path towards $1268.50 in the near term.

 
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What Startups Should Lookout For When Choosing a Payment Gateway

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By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke,

Every business needs a way to secure payments, but with so many choices in financial services for online businesses, it may be a difficult decision for new entrepreneurs to make. Not only do you have to consider the technical and logistical hurdles of setting up a new payment gateway, but you will also have to think about convenience for your customers and, perhaps most importantly, the gateway’s security. Jumia Pay which is the payment gateway used by Jumia shoppers is both convenient and secure. You can make payment and go to sleep with no worries.  To help your decision-making, here are some of the things to look out for when choosing a payment gateway.

Compatibility

Some payment gateways are easier to integrate than others, though most payment gateways strive for compatibility with as many technological systems as possible to maximize their user bases. However, you may have unique needs or requests, such as linking your payment gateway to your invoicing software or another financial data management platform you use.

Speed

Different payment gateways offer different speeds, as well. If you’re looking to maximize the average user experience and complete transactions as fast as possible, you’ll want a processor that can secure debit card authorization in a matter of seconds. You may also consider how quickly these payment providers can secure the money for your account.

Fraud detection and other security features

Some payment gateways specialize in fraud detection. They’ll help you proactively identify suspicious activity before it gets any further in the payment process. If you plan on handling large volumes of transactions, this is especially important for you.

Invoicing capabilities

Depending on what systems you’re already using, it could be in your best interest to secure a payment gateway with built-in invoicing capabilities. This would help you streamline your payment process, and may reduce your reliance on other platforms.

Costs and fees

Finally, you’ll need to consider the costs and fees associated with each payment gateway. Some may have better features, but will also come with an accompanying greater cost. Some platforms offer zero setup cost and zero monthly payment but may have higher fees for things like chargebacks. Others will offer a flat monthly fee, with no additional fees for other types of transactions. Your choice depends on your budget and how you expect your business to perform.

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Nigeria’s Economic Growth Cools in Q1, Pound Rattled by Political Risk

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By Lukman Otunuga, FXTM Research Analyst,

Growth in the largest economy in Africa slowed to 2.01% during the first quarter of 2019, thanks to external risks and contraction in the Oil sector.

Although the non-Oil sector grew by 2.47%, the Oil sector, which remains the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner, shrank by 2.40%. While Nigeria remains on a quest to break away from the chains of Oil reliance, the nation remains exposed to external shocks and this was reflected in the latest GDP figures. Will the deceleration in growth momentum pressure the Central Bank of Nigeria to cut interest rates in an effort to jumpstart the economy? This is a question on the minds of many investors.

Sterling struggles to nurse wounds as political risk continues to bite

The return of domestic political turmoil in the United Kingdom has led to a flurry of selling momentum for the British Pound, which fell over 300 pips during the previous trading week.

The selling momentum  returned once again in the early hours of Monday morning and the news flow circulating around UK Prime Minister Theresa May needing to state her leaving date, coupled with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stating that Brexit discussions have broken down makes it doubtful for buyers to be tempted back into the GBPUSD.

Taking a look at the technical picture, the GBPUSD remains firmly bearish on both the daily and weekly charts. There have been consistently lower lows and lower highs while the MACD has crossed to the downside. The solid weekly close below 1.2820 has opened the doors towards 1.2700 and 1.2620 in the near term.

 

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Commodity spotlight – Gold

The past few days have certainly not been kind to Gold and this continues to be reflected in the bearish price action.

Signals over the direction of US-China trade talks have caused risk sentiment to swing back and forth, ultimately impacting the appetite for Gold. While Gold bulls are clearly losing the battle as prices trade towards $1274, the war still rages on.

The sentiment pendulum could easily swing in favour of bulls this week, if trade tensions intensify and concerns over slowing global growth accelerate the flight to safety. With Gold still supported by core themes in the form of a cautious Federal Reserve and speculation over a potential US rate cut in 2019, the precious metal remains shielded by downside shocks.

Looking at the technical picture, sustained weakness below $1280 is seen opening a path towards $1268 in the short-to-medium term.

 

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