Brent crude oil futures held above 48 dollars a barrel on Thursday as investor inflows offset data showing that US crude stocks went up.
Brent was up 26 cents at 48.73 dollars a barrel.
Meanwhile, US crude was trading at about 44.50 dollars a barrel, up five cents and off a six-year low hit on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said domestic crude stocks was nine million barrels per week to nearly 407 million, the highest level since the government records in 1982.
This pushed US crude futures to an intraday low of 44.08 dollars a barrel, the weakest level since April 2009, but Brent held up relatively well.
“It’s a tug of war between non-supportive fundamentals and investor flows – investors are more concerned about missing a potential bounce,” said Ole Hansen, senior commodity strategist at Saxo Bank.”
Analysts expect stockpiles to keep building as US production has shown no signs of slowing, and when refiners enter seasonal turnarounds, utilisation rates will fall.
In addition, the market structure induces traders to buy cheap crude to store, with the aim of selling it at a higher price for future delivery.
“With weak pricing and ‘contango’ structures across most U.S. grades, storage plays will continue to attract material into tanks.
“Until seasonal maintenance is out of the way there appears to be little spur to do otherwise,” analysts at Energy Aspects said in a note.
Some traders believe this buying to store has provided a “false bottom” in the market.
They also trust that when land storage gets filled, or floating storage economics no longer work, there will be another sell off in futures.
“Traders buying and putting oil into storage may be holding the price for now,” said Christopher Bellew, a broker at Jefferies Bache in London.
“I see the market as being in a consolidating phase … (but) at some point I expect a move to the downside.” He suggested Brent could test 40 dollars or go lower.
“My reason for being so bearish is the production war within OPEC as Saudi and Iraq both seek to maximise sales and US production has not yet started to slow.”
Saudi Arabia has said it is unwilling to balance the market alone and will maintain output in hopes low prices will drive higher-cost producers to cut their output.
NSE Begins Week On Negative Note, Loses N19.49bn
The Nigerian stock market began the week on a negative note as banking and consumer goods stocks, among others, triggered a N19.49bn loss.
At the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Limited , the NGX All-Share Index dropped by 0.09 per cent to end at 43,270.94 basis points, while the market capitalisation declined to N22.58tn.
Market activities were mixed as the total volume of shares traded decreased by 30.19 per cent while the value traded rose by 34.05 per cent.
A total of 213.13 million shares valued at N2.36bn were exchanged in 4,105 deals, compared to 305.32 million shares worth N3.58bn in 4,450 deals last Friday.
FCMB Group Plc topped the traded stocks in terms of volume, accounting for 27.43 per cent of the total volume of trades while Airtel Africa Plc emerged as the most traded stock by value, representing 28.81 per cent of the total value of trades on the exchange.
14 firms gained compared to 21 losers.
AIICO Insurance Plc was the biggest gainer for the day, topping the gainers’ chart with a price appreciation of 8.57 per cent to N0.76 per share.
It was followed by LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc with a rise of 7.95 per cent, ending the day at N0.95 per share.
Analysing by sectors, three of the five major indices closed lower, led by NGX Oil & Gas (-0.56 per cent), NGX Consumer Goods (-0.23 per cent) and NGX Banking (0.18 per cent).
But the insurance (0.82 per cent) and industrial goods (0.002 per cent) indices gained at the end of trading.
… Introduces TIES To Boost Business Loan
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), which provides undergraduates and graduates with a platform to access loans.
The TIES’ underlying aim is to provide access to capital for Nigerian undergraduates and graduates with innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas from polytechnics and universities.
TIES intends to shift undergraduates and graduates away from white-collar job pursuits and towards a culture of entrepreneurship development for economic development and job creation.
In a national biennial entrepreneurship competition, the Developmental Component would be distributed in the form of awards to Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
The competition aims to increase undergraduates’ awareness and visibility of high-impact entrepreneurial/technological concepts, foster entrepreneurial talent hunts in Nigerian polytechnics and universities, and encourage commercially viable and transformative technologies.
Interested Nigerian polytechnics and universities shall apply to participate in the national biennial entrepreneurship competition on a dedicated online portal.
Outlining brief details of the project, potential impact and evidence of originality of project, CBN said it is an innovation for students entrepreneurs.
CITN Applauds FG, Tax Authorities On Fiscal Policy Decisions
The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has lauded the Federal Government and tax authorities on the giant strides made on fiscal policy decisions and tax administration measures initiated this year in the area of Finance Act 2021 and the introduction of TaxPromax solution.
President of the institute, Adesina Adedayo, who gave the commendation at the institute’s yearly award ceremony at the weekend in Lagos, assured the government and tax authorities of aligning with the measures and promised to provide professional thoughts and insights on ways through which they could achieve an efficient and effective Nigerian tax system.
Adedayo emphasised the need to address the database, adding that without knowing who the tax-payers are, there is no way they can take money from unknown tax-payers.
Database is the aspect we have been emphasising on as an institute and in doing this, there are so many of pockets of data we have. All the data must be harmonised to have a simple unique tax-payers identification number,” he said.
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