U.S stocks ended mixed Wednesday as earlier gains for U.S stock benchmarks faded, as investors monitored corporate earnings and remarks from central bankers to battle high inflation by tightening monetary policy. Subsequently, Dow Jones increased 0.3% to finish at 31,029.31, while S&P 500 declined 0.1% to finish at 3,818.83 and Nasdaq 100 declined 0.1% to finish at 11,177.89. The 10-year yield Treasury declined by 6bps to 3.091%. Gold declined by $3.60 to $1,817.60 per ounce, while WTI crude oil was at $109.78 per barrel.
In the latest round of sanctions, the UK has added Russia’s richest man Vladimir Potanin to the list of 1000 people and 120 business that have been sanctioned since the start of the war. In the meantime, European gas prices rose as much as 4%, taking the month’s increase to more than 50%, as Russia continued cutting supplies in retaliation to sanctions. Despite the elevated energy prices, Russia’s equity market lost the most in almost three months after Gazprom shareholders refused paying the dividend. IMOEX dropped as much as 5% this Thursday morning to 2252 with Gazprom leading the losses with a 23% slump. Russian ruble bounced off the seven-year low and picked the bids to refresh intraday high at around 52.82. EURRUB was up at 55.10. The ruble on Wednesday rose 42% against the Dollar this year, making it the best performer against the US currency. To counter the currency strength Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov unveiled a new proposal of buying the currency of so-called friendly countries to help influence exchange rate, as ruble strength threatens to hit Russia’s budget by reducing the value of export revenues denominated in dollars. Russian sovereign bonds stayed mostly unchanged with Russia 28 offered in mid 30s and Russia 47 in mid 20s.
Bunds open stronger following trend from yesterday. The 10Y touched a high of 1.53% before dropping to 1.43%, 10bps down day-on-day. Peripherals mirrored the move on bunds with a relatively strong open;10Y BTPs yields went as high as 3.36% before retreating to 3.25%, 11 basis points firmer intraday. Stocks open lower over heightened concerns of an economic recession coupled with rising inflationary pressures. Consequently, the Stoxx 600, opened lower at 406.03 compared to previous session’s closing of 413.42.
ANGOL (-0.375pts) leads losses at the open as market continues unwinding positions ahead of the August elections. The elections are projected to be tighter as the ruling MPLA faces a more united UNITA-led coalition. The rest of the space similarly weaker save GHANA which opens flat as the government continually signals openness to engage the IMF.
Activity in the Nigerian local Secondary Market for Bonds was mostly calm amid a persistent weak system liquidity. We witnessed mixed sentiments across the curve with some cherry picking of specific maturities. Intraday, average yields were mostly flat across board. Consequently, FGN 26s closed at an offer rate of 10.15%, 2 basis point down from previous level of 10.17% while 37s closed at an offer rate of 12.50%, 6 bps up from previous level of 12.44%. Activity in the Secondary Market for Treasury bills was bearish as frailty in Money Market liquidity worsened ahead of NTB Auction results. We saw improved offers as Banks jostled to create liquidity to fund their obligations. Day-on-day, average discount rates were mostly higher across board. Consequently, discount rates on 29th of August 2022 SPEB & 28th of November 2022 SPEB were at 5.81% (previous: 5.65%) and 6.10%(previous:6.05%) respectively. Meanwhile, stop rates at the just concluded Treasury bills primary auction printed at 2.4%, 3.79% and 6.07% for the 91-day, 182-day and 364-day tenors respectively. The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar closed at N418.50.05/$1 at NAFEX compared to previous session’s level of N420.05/$1, an appreciation of circa 0.37%.