Oil Prices Dips Slightly On Increased Global, US Supplies 

Taiwo Adekeye, FMVA

January 24, 2024

Oil prices dipped on Tuesday as traders’ attention was drawn to the resurging crude output in some parts of US along with increasing supply in Libya and Norway. This shift in focus dampened concerns about potential supply risks related to conflicts in Europe and the Middle East. Brent crude settled at $79.55 a barrel, shedding 0.6%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $74.37 a barrel, losing 0.5%.

Nigeria: 50% of Nigeria’s official dollar outflows in 2023 allocated to servicing foreign debt

Nigeria spent about 50% of its dollar payments to servicing external debts between January and October 2023, highlighting the escalating burden of foreign debt on the nation’s economy. Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reveals that out of the total outflows amounting to $6.11 billion during this period, $3.07 billion, was allocated to servicing external debt. The total amount spent on foreign debt service in these 10 months is $850.42 million, 38% up from $2.22 billion expended in 2022.

South Africa: The Rand recovers from three-month lows

South Africa’s rand was stronger against the dollar on Tuesday, recovering from the lows hit a day earlier, ahead of local inflation data. The dollar was last up 0.3% against a basket of global currencies as investors are focusing on December inflation data that is due for Wednesday. However, South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker, with the yield up 4.7 basis points to 9.762%.

Ghana: World Bank authorizes $300 mln in funding for Ghana

The World Bank has approved $300 million in funding to assist Ghana’s economic recovery, the decision come after the West African country secured a deal to restructure $5.4 billion of loans with its official creditors, a major milestone in Ghana’s quest for debt relief as it navigates its way out of the severe  economic crisis it experiences. However, Ghana received a disbursement of about $600 million under its $3 billion bailout programme from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week.

India:  India increases import duty on gold, silver jewelry findings

The Indian government has raised the import duty on gold and silver findings used in jewelry, as well as precious metal coins, from 11% to 15%. The sole aim of this adjustment is to align the duties on these items with those applied to gold and silver bars taking effect from Jan 22. India’s Ministry of Finance also hiked the import duty on spent catalysts containing precious metals to 14.35% from 10.1%. India is the world’s second biggest consumer of gold, which is supplied almost entirely through imports.

China: China keeps benchmark lending rates steady amid pressure on yuan

China kept benchmark lending rates unchanged during the monthly fixing on Monday, aligning with expectations. Beijing is perceived to have limited room for monetary easing due to downward pressure on the yuan. The central bank has chosen to maintain its current stance despite recent data showing the uneven nature of China’s economic recovery and deflationary pressures causing a rise in real borrowing costs.

However, the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was kept at 3.45%, and the five-year LPR was unchanged at 4.20%.

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