Despite record-high eurozone inflation, the European Central Bank maintained its gradual pace for winding down asset purchases in the third quarter, without setting a precise date on when it will hike interest rates.
The governing council of the central bank stated this in a press release. The ECB is grappling with how aggressively to tighten monetary policy in response to record inflation while the possibility of a major economic collapse grows as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The ECB is likely to begin raising interest rates after the bond-buying program is done, following in the footsteps of the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve of the United States.
Additionally, the monthly net purchases under the Asset purchase programme (APP) will amount to €40 billion in April, €30 billion in May and €20 billion in June
What the ECB is saying
- The ECB statement said that it now expects to conclude its net asset purchases in the third quarter. “At today’s meeting, the Governing Council judged that the incoming data since its last meeting reinforce its expectation that net asset purchases under the APP should be concluded in the third quarter,“ it said
- The Bank added that “The calibration of net purchases for the third quarter will be data-dependent and reflect the Governing Council’s evolving assessment of the outlook.”
- Although The ECB faces a unique dilemma, with inflation hitting a record high of 7.5% in March, it decided to hold rates steady.
- The ECB said, “The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.50% respectively.”
- The bank also stated that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is causing enormous suffering and is also affecting the economy in Europe and beyond.
... ECB winds down bond-buying, keeps interest rate steady amid worries of inflation Read More on ... Naijaonpoint.
Nigeria’s GDP Grows by 3.11% in Q1, What Next?
There are two ways one could interpret Nigeria’s latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figure of 3.11% in Q1 of 2022.
The optimists will say the country’s economy grew for the sixth consecutive quarter in Q1 while pessimists may highlight how economic growth slowed for the third consecutive quarter.
Either way, Nigeria’s economy continues to display resilience against external and domestic risks. With the improvement in the non-oil sector driving growth, this may brighten the growth outlook. But could these be signs of Nigeria breaking away from the chains of oil reliance to derive growth from sustainable sources? It may be too early to come to any meaningful conclusion. However, the report is encouraging and illustrates progress made by the country in reclaiming stability post-Covid-19.
With economic conditions somewhat improving, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is unlikely to raise interest rates this week. Given how Africa’s largest economy has been able to maintain growth in the past six quarters on the back of loose monetary policies by the CBN, a rate hike could disrupt Nigeria’s economic recovery.
As the global war against inflation rages on, central banks are stepping up.
However, the CBN is likely to remain on the sidelines for now. Nevertheless, inflation is still a cause for concern with consumer prices accelerating for the third straight month to 16.82% in April 2022.
With the general elections around the corner, pre-election spending could translate to rising price pressures. On top of this, the widening policy divergence between the Federal Reserve and the CBN could punish the Naira.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the dollar remains heavily supported by aggressive Fed rate hike bets and is likely to remain strong for the rest of 2022. A powerful dollar is bad news for emerging market currencies including the Naira which continues to depreciate in both the official and unofficial markets.
Lukman Otunuga is the Senior Research Analyst at FXTM
NGX All Share Index Weakens Further by 0.13%
The bearish sentiment on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited continued on Monday as the bourse further depreciated by 0.13 per cent.
Sustained profit-taking especially in the industrial goods sector contributed to the decline suffered during the session as the All Share Index (ASI) slumped by 68.45 points to close at 52,911.51 points compared with the previous session’s 52,979.96 points.
As for the market capitalisation, it depreciated by N37 billion amid sell-offs in 24 stocks to settle at N28.525 trillion as against last Friday’s closing value of N28.562 trillion.
On the first trading day of this week, the insurance sector depleted by 2.32 per cent, the industrial goods sector fell by 0.09 per cent, while the energy, banking and consumer goods counters increased by 0.28 per cent, 0.10 per cent and 0.05 per cent respectively.
Presco led the losers’ chart yesterday with a price decline of 10.00 per cent to trade at N180.00, Global Spectrum Energy Services lost 9.97 per cent to finish at N3.07, Neimeth fell by 9.66 per cent to N1.59, UAC Nigeria depreciated by 8.33 per cent to N13.20, while NEM Insurance retreated by 7.74 per cent to N4.05.
The gainers’ log had 22 members on Monday, with Conoil leading after its value improved by 9.95 per cent to N34.25. MRS Oil gained 9.93 per cent to quote at N14.95, McNichols appreciated by 9.86 per cent to N2.34, Academy Press increased its price by 9.76 per cent to N1.35, while NPF Microfinance Bank expanded by 8.02 per cent to N2.02.
On the activity chart, a total of 263.3 million stocks worth N3.6 billion exchanged hands in 4,856 deals during the session compared with 436.6 million stocks worth N3.2 billion bought and sold in 4,716 deals in the preceding session. This implied that the volume of trades depreciated by 39.68 per cent, while the value of trades and the number of deals increased by 10.15 per cent and 2.97 per cent respectively.
Jaiz Bank closed the day as the most active stock with the sale of 114.0 million units valued at N101.8 million, GTCO transacted 12.9 million shares for N302.8 million, Transcorp exchanged 12.8 million stocks worth N16.7 million, Access Holdings traded 11.7 million equities valued at N115.7 million, while Zenith Bank sold 8.6 million shares for N207.0 million.