Economy, Finance And Business News Headlines: 6th April 2020

Economy, Finance And Business News Headlines: 6th April 2020

COVID-19 Update:

COVID-19 has now sickened more than 1,200,000 people, a growth of 20% from Friday’s 1 million. As of Monday morning, at least 68,841 people have died, and the virus has been detected in at least 171 countries as China reports 39 new coronavirus cases.

In the U.S., the growth remains double-digit though it’s now in a slowdown mode. The number of infections grew by 38.18% and deaths by 56.64% to 9,655 from 6,164 reported on Friday.

As at 09:30 pm 5th April there are 232 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Thirty-three have been discharged with five deaths.

Oil Market Update:

In anticipation of today’s meeting (before it was postponed to 9th April), prices of different oil grades rose sharply last week, with brent seeing over 30% surge and Nigeria’s bonny light gained over 20%.

The decision of OPEC+ group and major oil producers will determine the faith of oil prices in the coming days and possibly months. Unlike in the past, where supply cut agreement was sufficient to move prices in their favour. This time, they are dealing with unprecedented demand disruption and destruction, close to half of the population of the world is locked down at home.

Their decision may reverse supply but there is very little it can do with demand. It cannot reverse factory shutdowns, restricted commuter travels and grounded flights, and with prolonged weak demand comes gloomy future for oil-producing countries like Nigeria.

JUST IN: A new report by Fitch has downgraded Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to a ‘B’ rating. According to Fitch, the rating is reflective of the current pressure on Nigeria’s external reserves due to the Coronavirus pandemic as well as the recent plunge in global oil prices.

Stock Market Update:

Nigeria’s equity market is currently up by 0.26%, FTSE (UK) – up by 2.22%, DAX (Germany) – up by 4.42% and CAC of France up by 3.62%.

Headlines:

Pressures mount on Naira as external reserves heads below $34bn in April

The downward trend in the fortunes of the Naira last month is expected to persist this month even as the nation’s external reserves is expected to trend below $34 billion for the first time since September 2017. Read more

Report Forecasts 20% Drop in Diaspora Remittances
A Pan-African credit rating agency, Agusto & Co, has predicted a 20 per cent drop in Diaspora remittances to Nigeria from $25 billion recorded last year to $20 billion this year. However, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had said that it did not have any record of remittances exceeding $3 billion, implying that the figures contained in several reports, including the latest by Agusto & Co must be based on other data sources. Read More

Diesel, kerosene prices fail to drop despite oil crash

The pump prices of diesel and kerosene in Nigeria have yet to reflect the collapse of global crude oil prices despite the deregulation of the products by the Federal Government.Following the sharp drop in oil prices, the pump price of petrol, which is still being regulated by the government, was reduced to N125 per litre from N145 per litre on March 18, 2020.Read more

Air Peace delivers FG’s medical supplies from Turkey

The Federal Government has taken delivery of medical supplies from Istanbul, Turkey, to fight the coronavirus pandemic.The supplies were delivered by an Air Peace aircraft, a Boeing 777 with registration number, 5N-BWI, which arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Saturday night.Read more

China sees rise in asymptomatic coronavirus cases

Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up from 30 a day earlier, and the number of asymptomatic cases also surged, as Beijing continued to struggle to extinguish the outbreak despite drastic containment efforts. Read more

Nigeria Confirms Eight New COVID-19 Infections, Total Cases Rise To 232

A total of eight new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been recorded in the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed.In a tweet on Sunday evening, the health agency says the new infections bring the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 232.The tweet came hours after the NCDC confirmed 10 cases – Lagos (six), Edo (two), FCT (two).Read more

Sterling falls after PM Johnson enters hospital over coronavirus symptoms

The pound fell against the dollar and euro on Monday after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests after showing persistent symptoms of the coronavirus.The yen fell against the dollar and the antipodean currencies after Japanese media reported Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may declare a state of emergency as early as Tuesday to curb an alarming acceleration in coronavirus infections.Read more

European stock index futures jump as coronavirus death toll slows

European stock index futures jumped more than 4% on Monday as a slowdown in coronavirus death toll in France and Italy raised hopes that lockdown measures were starting to show results.Euro Stoxx 50 futures STXEc1 were up 4.1% at 0600 GMT, with German DAX futures FDXc1 and French CAC futures FCEc1 gaining 4.5% and 4%, respectively.Read more

Gold Bugs Finally See Their Predictions of Doom Coming True

As the coronavirus brings economies around the world to a standstill, gold is rivaling Treasuries and the dollar as the best-performing major asset this year. The metal proved its haven status with a 6% rally as almost $16 trillion was wiped off global stock markets and oil plunged.Read more

FG Grants Three-Year Tax Holiday To 25 Companies
The Federal Government has granted a three-year tax incentive to 25 companies under the Industrial Development Income Tax Act. A pioneer status is an incentive from the Federal Government, which exempts companies from basic income tax. Read More

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