By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,
The sentiment pendulum swung deeper into “risk-on” territory on Wednesday with Asian shares closing higher, as investors assessed the coronavirus outbreak against speculation around central banks loosening monetary policy.
Asian investors breathed a sigh of relief as the number of new coronavirus cases appears to be slowing. However, there remains a thick cloud of uncertainty over how badly the outbreak has impacted China, Asia and the global economy. With the death toll from the virus topping one thousand with 42,000 confirmed cases, investors are likely to remain wary and cautious despite the apparent “risk-on” mood. The positive vibe from Asian markets may support European shares this morning and potentially trickle back down to Wall Street which closed at fresh record highs overnight.
Oil sensitive to demand side concerns
Oil jumped over 1.5% on Wednesday amid early signs that new coronavirus cases were slowing in China. This development has eased concerns over the negative demand impact from the outbreak in the world’s largest energy consumer.
However, Oil markets are certainly not out of the woods yet with further downside on the cards if economic growth in China ends up decelerating in Q1. On the supply side of the equation, OPEC+ recommended a further cut of 600,000 bpd last week in an effort to limit the painful decline in Oil prices, but Russia has been reluctant to commit to deeper cuts.
If the cartel moves ahead with further cuts, this will bring the total production cuts to 2.3 million barrels per day. Such an outcome will have consequences on Nigeria’s current quota of 1.7 million barrels a day which may be reduced to accommodate for the new production levels. If Nigeria producing less Oil and prices remain depressed, the country’s foreign exchange and fiscal revenues will be under threat, ultimately impacting economic growth and Naira stability.
We suspect the next few months are going to be volatile for Oil, with the path of least resistance pointing south.
While WTI Crude could rebound towards $52 and beyond in the short to medium term, the resistance around $54 may put an end to the bull’s party. A breakdown back below $50 should open the doors towards $48.
Dollar takes a breather, but bulls still remain in control
The mighty Dollar retreated from a 2020 high on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell indicated that US interest rates would be left unchanged.
Appetite for the Greenback should remain stimulated by optimism over the US economy, speculation around the Federal Reserve leaving interest rates unchanged and safe-haven demand. Powell was fairly optimistic over the outlook for the US economy in his update to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday and may mirror a similar tone on Wednesday. With uncertainty over the virus still a major theme and the ramifications it may have on the global economy lingering in the air, the Dollar is likely to push higher. Focusing on the technical picture, the Dollar Index is bullish on the daily charts with prices trading around 98.83 as of writing. A solid daily close above 99.00 should open the doors towards 99.50.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
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